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2004 Minutes - Teachers Meeting

Public Schools Fencing Championships
Teachers’ meeting 25.ii.04, starting at 4.15pm

Present: Chris Barnett (Hampton), Peter Barrett (Alleyn’s/KGS/Whitgift/KCS), Anthony Cadle (Hymers College), Sarah Cash (Elizabeth College), Nick Chapman (Bromsgrove), Russell Dudley-Smith (Westminster), Norman Golding (Millfield), David Goodhew (Bristol Grammar School), Clare Halsted (UCS), Mark Harrison (Bradfield), Jon Milner (Wimbledon High), Mark Nelson-Griffiths (Emanuel, John Lyon), Peter Northam (King Edward’s, B’ham), Helen Packham (Alice Ottley), Richard Pratt (Eton), Caroline Ralph (Bromsgrove), John Roebuck (RGSHW), James Ross (KCS Wimbledon), David Sach (Brentwood), Stuart Scorgie (Clifton), Jonathan Seath (RBAI), Peter Shilston (Wellington), Kate Smith (Kingston Grammar), Phil Smith (Bedford Modern), Marek Stepien (CLS Boys), Mavis Thornton (Arnold), Dennis Ward (Espada, Bournemouth), Andrew Whiffin (Bloxham), Eliot Williams (Millfield), Ian Williams (St. Paul’s), Trevor Woolliams (RGSHW), Brian Howes (Chair).

1. The minutes of the meeting of 26th March 2003 were approved.

2. Arising on the minutes of the previous meeting,

On item 4 (The competition):
- numbers had grown again this year (by 50), but this had not called for special measures to limit entries as the growth was predominantly in the smaller events.
- The Committee had reviewed the points system to give all events equal treatment by eliminating 10% after the first round, 20% of the remainder after the second, followed by DE whatever the shape of the tableau. The Group noted this evening-up with thanks and suggested that the organisers might now consider eliminating 20% after the first round and 20% or 30% after the second. The Group also raised the possibility of extending the PSFC to four days.
- Members of the Group had been happy to receive the mailings to schools electronically and had added their email address to the list of those present at this meeting where Rodney might not have it.
On Item 5 (Hostel Accommodation):
- the Group appreciated the later dinner-time in the hostel
- the Committee had operated the booking system for the hostel accommodation as agreed (first opened, first served, and no recommendations for those who could not be fitted in at the CPNSC). Generally this had worked acceptably, but at the expense of the person dealing with the allocations. It was agreed that this was unreasonable: in future the entries from the committee member doing the work should be accommodated in the hostel provided only that the details were received by the closing date for entries.

On Item 7 (Dates for 2004): BH explained the background to this year’s change of dates at short notice and the probable availability of the CPNSC for at least two years longer: the announcement of the ‘reprieve’ had been made only the previous afternoon and the details were still far from clear.

3. The 2004 Competition

i) Russell Dudley-Smith pointed out that a number of entries had been accepted which had not been submitted through the school. He and others sought confirmation that the rule was still in force (confirmed) and asked the committee to be rigorous in applying it.
ii) The Group expressed its great appreciation of the splendid work of Rodney Francis, Keith Smith, Kate Smith and Mike Thornton and was pleased to note the involvement of increasing numbers of former participants in refereeing the event along with many other volunteers.
iii) The Group noted a shortage of referees, particularly on the first day; and drew attention to the poor quality of some refereeing. They suggested a number of points: the senior fencers in the competition were probably better referees than most of the teachers and some re-ordering of events could free them to referee the junior and 12-14 events (and even the early stages of their own events); nominate a major-domo for referees to check quality and assign responsibilities, thus avoiding any possible charges of bias; and now insist on fencing schools bringing a quota of referees.
iv) BH reported that the value of prizes donated by Leon Paul this year (in addition to sponsorship in the form of electrical registering equipment and the provision of two pistes) amounted to over £1350; the firm said they were happy to share with the fencers the fact that they were having a good year, though there was no guarantee that they could do the same every year. The Group was very grateful for the firm’s especially generous, one-off support of the PSFC and suggested that the Committee ask the firm’s permission to include ‘SPONSORED BY LEON PAUL’ in the heading of the competition’s communications. This would be in recognition of the Group’s great appreciation of the firm’s continuing generosity to and long association with the PSFC.
v) BH reminded the Group that petty theft remains a problem, that everyone should take good care of their valuables (including equipment), that unclaimed items of lost property would be given to ‘needy’ fencing clubs or charity, and that referees should receive the full support of teachers, parents and fencers: abusive behaviour towards referees would not be tolerated, including criticism by coaches of fencer referees The Group noted all points and strongly endorsed those on the subject of referees.
vi) The Group was pleased that there was now a full list of trophies for the 12-14 competitions and noted the need to return all trophies promptly and suitably engraved each year. The Group suggested setting a standard financial penalty for those who failed to do so.
vii) The Christie Trophy needed replacement or refurbishment.

4. Dates and Arrangements for 2005

i) The Group said that it would prefer to return to the usual dates next year (third or fourth week in March, depending on the date of Easter).
ii) The Group strongly urged the Committee to consider alternative venues for 2005: they judged CPNSC inappropriate because of the poor quality of the fencing surface. They also mentioned the excessive heat and the high level of humidity in the fencing area. Bolton, Donnington Park, Stoke and Stoke Manderville were suggested for the committee’s consideration, though it was acknowledged that cost would be a factor in any move.
iii) They also remarked that there was no lack of willingness to help run the event and asked that more colleagues with suitable experience be involved next year in the day-to-day running of the event.

The meeting closed at 5.30pm.

See attachment with these Minutes to ALL TEACHERS IN CHARGE OF FENCING

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Updated: Monday 3rd October 2022 at 10.33am