Fencing North Meeting - August 2019

Fencing North Meeting – 26th August 2019

Meeting opened: 7:10pm

Present: David Elder, Amanda Hopkins, Katie Logan, Sunnie Sun, Ainslie McGuire-Barnes, Murray McGuire-Barnes.

Apologies: Kyle Nankivell.

Confirmation of the Previous Minutes: Ainslie moved that the minutes from July be accepted. David seconded. Motion carried.

Matters Arising: In the previous meeting the committee discussed how half and full days of refereeing should be counted and agreed to consult the FeNZ policy. However, FeNZ does not have a set policy on this matter. Therefore Amanda proposed that up to four hours be considered a half day and five hours or more a full day. Katie seconded. Motion carried. The referees will be paid as soon as possible.

Health and Safety: Sunnie reported that at the SS4 competition a fencer was seen using a sabre with the wrong handedness and that this was potentially quite dangerous. The committee agreed that referees should be empowered to turn away fencers who present with wrong-handed weapon.
  There were three injuries reported from North Islands.

Treasurer’s Report: Amanda gave her report to the committee. Unfortunately we will make a loss on North Islands, due to low entries and a number of unexpected expenses. Expenses are also expected to be relatively high at NZSS, and North is paying a number of insurance premiums this year. She noted that the end of our financial year is the end of September, at which point the committee will have to discuss how the books can be balanced next year.
  David seconded Amanda’s report. Motion carried.

Competitions: The upcoming competitions for September are the National Secondary Schools on the 6th-8th, and the North U20s/23s on the 21st.

Macleavy Open: The Macleavy Open competition, which was meant to be held on the 31st of August, has been cancelled this year. The normal organisers have unfortunately been too busy organising the National competitions to devote any time to the Macleavy, and there were no good opportunities to postpone it. Fencing North would like to apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience caused.

Regional Open Competitions: David presented to the committee a suggestion that may improve participation and reduce the difficulty of organising regional open competitions. He suggested that Fencing North might ask the larger clubs to run some of these competitions, as has been the norm in the past. David will talk to clubs about this and see whether there is any interest.

NZ Secondary Schools: The committee discussed the preparations for NZSS. With only two weeks to go there is still a huge need for volunteers for set-up and pack-up, first aid and referee billeting. Anyone who is willing to help, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NZSS – North Teams: Following the decision at last month’s meeting, Katie has been selecting school teams based on the National rankings. Despite some requests, no composite teams have been selected, as there was neither a mandate nor a mechanism for doing so.

Fencing North would like to congratulate these schools for being selected to enter teams:

  • Boys’ Foil: St Kentigerns, Macleans
  • Girls’ Foil: Diocesan, Kristin, Macleans, Epsom Girls Grammar
  • Boys’ Epee: Mt Albert Grammar, St Kentigerns
  • Girls’ Epee: Mt Albert Grammar
  • Sabre: Macleans, Auckland Grammar

Feedback from North Islands: The committee discussed some feedback about the organisation and operation of North Islands.

  • Some feedback was received from Heather Claydon, the North Islands DT; this will be taken in account when running NZSS and future competitions.
  • Fencing North would like to express its gratitude to everyone who helped out at that competition. In particular, thank you to Felix Lun for the very smooth operation of weapons control.
  • On the other hand, David expressed his disappointment at the North fencers who consciously avoided the set-up and pack-up at North Islands. The low rates of volunteerism in our region force us to constantly rely on the goodwill of guests from other regions and make it very difficult to effectively run any successful event.
  • Katie reported that throughout the process of organising both North Islands and NZSS, she and David experienced considerable communication issues with representatives of the national body. The expectations for the competition organisation are very high and extremely difficult to manage as inexperienced organisers; further, there is no unified document where all of the different factors were explained. This feedback will be passed on to the Officiating Commission following the NZSS.

FeNZ News: Amanda and David reported the FeNZ news.
  Nicola Shackleton recently resigned as head of the NZ Officiating Commission, and Bryan Clark was appointed as the new commission head. Following this, there were some issues surrounding the selection of new commissioners. Following an open call for nominations, selections were made and ratified by the FeNZ board; however, despite a very good candidate putting their name forward, no one from the North region was selected.
  Katie moved that Fencing North write to FeNZ expressing our concern about the process of selecting the Officiating Commission, insofar as there is to be no representative of the North region on this important board. Murray seconded. Motion carried.

Other Business:

Condolences: Fencing North would like to express our condolences to the FeNZ President Mark Rance for his recent family misfortune.

Thanks: Following Ainslie’s suggestion, the committee expressed its thanks to Katie for all of the organisational work she has done over the last months.

Dinner: David mentioned that he is planning a shared dinner event for Fencing North members and volunteers in October.

Meeting Closed: 9:12pm.

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