The purpose of this post is consult those who fence with Sheffield Buccaneers over our range of options for restarting fencing training. Firstly, as you may know, our usual venue Birkdale School will not be available for us to use until January at the earliest. I have enquired widely to find an alternative for the period up till then and have only found one possibility, which is the lower hall at Concord Sports Centre, Shire Green Lane, Sheffield S5 6AE on Monday nights. We currently pay £26.50 per night for Birkdale and the price for using Concord is £43.00 per 45 minutes, so if we were to have our usual 3 hour session that would amount to £172.00 per night! Perhaps 7:30pm to 9:45 which would cost £129.00 would work better. If we were to make use of Concord we would have to be sure of being able to cover this cost and inevitably the cost of attending sessions will be considerably more.
Other issues we would have to address would be ensuring that our sessions are conducted in accordance with British Fencing’s ‘covid safe’ guidelines which can be found at – https://www.britishfencing.com/BF%20Return%20to%20Fencing%20-%20Indoor%20Fencing%20Guidelines%20from%2025th%20July%20in%20England%20v1.0.pdf . All those wishing to attend our sessions should read this.
Some key features of these guideline are –
- Training must take place in groups of 6. groups must remain separate and not mix.
- Sparing bouts within each group can be for 3 bouts to 5 or one bout to 15 with a maximum of 15 minutes per bout.
- All fencers must pre book in order to attend any session.
In applying the British Fencing guidelines we would anticipate making the following changes –
- All payments will need to be by bank transfer, no cash or cheques.
- There will inevitably be a limit on the number of fencers who can attend in order that pistes can be kept the correct distance apart and we will probably implement a firs come first serve booking system.
- We will need to appoint a covid 19 officer who will actively monitor compliance with the guidelines.
- There will be no sharing of equipment and fencers will be strongly advised to get their own, especially masks and gloves.
- Other adaptions and controls as required.
I would be grateful if people could get back to me with there thoughts on restarting our fencing training in order to draw up a plan of action.
All the best
(Chair & Head Coach)