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2003 Minutes - Teachers Meeting

Public Schools Fencing Championships
Teachers’ meeting 26.iii.03, starting at 11.15am
Draft minutes

Present: Peter Barrett (Alleyn’s/KGS/Whitgift/KCS), Anthony Cadle (Hymers College), Nick Chapman (Bromsgrove), Martin Colliver (Warwick), Steven Davey (Tormead/ Guildford High), Russell Dudley-Smith (Westminster), Shaun Garley (Wycliffe College), Norman Golding (Millfield), David Goodhew (Bristol Grammar School), Clare Halsted (UCS), Jamie Miller (Kings Canterbury), Phil Myers (Hymers College), Anne Nicholls (Uppingham), Peter Northam (King Edward’s, B’ham), Christopher Penney (Tonbridge), Richard Pratt (Eton), Paul Romang (Kings Canterbury), David Sach (Brentwood), Stuart Scorgie (Clifton), Peter Shilston (Wellington), Mavis Thornton (Arnold), Manola Toschi-Restivo (Bishop Challoner/ JAGS), Dennis Ward (Espada, Bournemouth), Ian Worthington (Uppingham), Brian Howes (Chair).

1. The minutes of the meeting of 28th March 2002 were approved.

2. Arising on the minutes of the previous meeting, the Group noted with thanks that:

i) the Committee had introduced Boys’ and Girls’ competitions for both Epée and Sabre for the 12-14 age-group;

ii) five girls’ schools in the Midlands (Alice Ottley School, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Edgbaston High School, King Edward’s Edgbaston and King’s High School, Warwick) had jointly donated trophies for the Girls’ Senior Sabre (The Leech-McClughan Trophy) and the Girls’ 12-14 Epée; and KCS Wimbledon a trophy for the Boys’ 12-14 Epée.

iii) the organisers had - as far as was practical – run all events as two rounds of pools followed by DE, as suggested;

iv) the hostel had kept the kitchen open until 8pm on the first two nights of the competition and had been able to serve hot meals to delayed arrivals on Monday and fencers involved in the final rounds on Tuesday. In addition to this, the kitchen had gladly provided salads for those arriving very late on Monday when it had been asked in advance.

3. Trophies

On behalf of the Committee, BH was happy to accept the following offers of new trophies:


i. Russell Dudley-Smith said that Westminster would like to donate the trophy for the Boys’ 12-14 Sabre;
ii. Paul Romang said that King’s Canterbury would like to donate the trophy for the Girls’ 12-14 Sabre.

These two donations completed the need for individual weapon trophies following the intoduction of the new events for 12-14 year-olds.

Additionally,
iii. David Sach said that Brentwood would like to donate a trophy for the Boys’ 12-14 Master-at-Arms; and
iv. Nick Chapman and Peter Northam offered a trophy for the Girls’ 12-14 Champion-at-Arms.

4. The Competition

The Group expressed its great appreciation of the splendid work of Rodney Francis and Keith Smith, was glad that Kate Smith had joined the team, and pleased to note the involvement of increasing numbers of former participants in refereeing the event along with many other volunteers.

Some concern was expressed about the length of time young fencers can reasonably be expected to fence, but received little support from the group.

There was a lengthy discussion of whether or not the competition had now grown too large. Consensus appeared to be that this was not the case but it was probably very close to the limit possible within a three-day competition. The Group asked the Committee to keep this strictly under review and to take any steps they deemed necessary if it looked like becoming unmanageable

It was commented that procedures followed as agreed still meant that good performance in the Girls’ Senior Sabre event (eight entries) did not carry the same weight in the Team and Champion-at-Arms competitions as in the other weapons, and the Committee was asked to review whether there was a reasonable way of redressing this imbalance;

The discomfort caused by the inability to open the windows in the main arena was exacerbated by the security guards’ insistence on closing all doors. [CPNSC has taken note of this point and agreed to keep doors open next year, with security staff on duty at them]

It was suggested that it would be useful for the Second Mailing to schools to repeat the note on weapon sizes.

Everyone present thought it a good idea for mailings to schools to be distributed by email.

5. Hostel Accommodation

The group was happy with the hostel facilities at CPNSC and expressed its gratitude to Nick Chapman for making the necessary arrangements. The school which had had to spend Monday night in the Queen’s Hotel was highly critical of that accommodation which had changed much since the 2002 PSFC. It was agreed that space in CPNSC would be allocated entirely on a first-opened, first-served basis; and that schools would then make their own arrangements if there was no room left in CPNSC.
The Group thought that 8pm was still too early to stop serving dinner given the current size of the competition and asked the Committee to explore the possibility of keeping it open later in 2004. They also asked that the second mailing in future remind schools of the time of dinner in the hostel and of the arrangements if the team anticipated arriving late.

6. Committee Secretary

The Committee currently lacked a secretary and BH invited volunteers: no offers.

7. Dates for 2004

BH said that CPNSC is provisionally booked for 23-25 March. Some schools would prefer earlier, but most were content with the suggested dates.

The meeting closed at 12.15pm.

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