Fencing North Committee Meeting – 6th April 2020
This committee meeting was held virtually over Skype call, directly following the SGM.
Meeting Opened: 7:18pm.
Present: David Elder, Sunnie Sun, Amanda Hopkins, Katie Logan, Ryan Yan, Maja Saran, Judit Fliszar, James Harwood, Matthew Houtman.
Apologies: Peter Butler, Mary Black.
Confirmation of the Previous Minutes: Katie mentioned to the committee that she had made a small addition to the meeting records following the previous meeting. During the meeting a major topic of discussion was the status of Fencing North competitions during the Covid19 crisis. In between the meeting and the completion of the minutes, much of the discussion on that topic was made obsolete by announcements from Fencing New Zealand and the New Zealand Government, and Katie added a post facto note to that effect in the minutes.
Katie moved that the minutes for March be accepted as correct. David seconded. Motion carried.
Matters Arising: Matt reported on his progress in investigating Fencing North and Fencing New Zealand’s privacy obligations. He has applied to the Privacy Commission for advice on some key questions, and is awaiting a response from them.
Treasurer’s Report: Amanda gave the Treasurer’s Report. She reported that Fencing North made a decent profit at the very succesful Ongley Open competition. Fencing North currently has c. $40,000 in the bank, including the funding received from TTCF. There is still a payment to Oliver Agnew for website upkeep outstanding.
Amanda moved that her report be accepted. Maja seconded. Motion carried.
Covid19: Current Status and Future Assessment: The committee discussed in depth the current situation with the Covid19 crisis and how Fencing North will continue to handle the situation.The main points are outlined below:
- On the 21st of March, Fencing New Zealand annouced that all clubs and competitions in the country would be suspended until further notice. This followed the NZ Government’s announcement that the country was at Covid19 Alert Level 2. Fencing North and local clubs are complying with FeNZ’s decision.
- National and international events have been postponed, including Oceanic U20s. Fencing North has cancelled our booking with Diocesan for this event. For now, we have pencilled in two potential dates for holding the tournament at Trusts this year, in September and October. However, travel restrictions may remain in place for a long time, so it may not be possible to hold the tournament this year.
- Currently David and Maja are working with Trusts Arena to maintain our competition schedule: at the start of each month, all scheduled events for the following month will be evaluated and the booking cancelled or maintained as necessary.
- Katie has unpublished all events from the Fencing North website.
- FeNZ has not yet made it clear when club and competitions will be allowed to reopen (for example, which Alert Level may be acceptable). Judit noted that private lessons may be safe to restart before clubs. David and Amanda will bring up the question with FeNZ.
- We noted that most Fencing North competitions would have fewer than 100 people, with the exception of the Secondary School competitions. Even if there are fewer than 100 participants, spectators put these competitions well over the 100 person limit required by Alert Level 2.
- Katie raised a question: if we only have the opportunity to run a few competitions at the end of the year, which ones should they be? Possibly one for each age group, although we may be required to run national/internation competitions instead of local ones.
Fundraising: In Rhys’ absence, David went over the current Fencing North funding priorities:
- Permanent Venue
- Material Pistes
- Sectional Pistes
- Video Refereeing Equipment
- Operational Costs (e.g. hall hire)
- Operational Costs for National/International Tournaments
- Coaching Development
- First Aid Courses
- Uniforms (especially breeches)
Rhys and David are working on applying to specific trusts for these items depending on what these trusts typically support. However, Amanda noted that there may not be a lot of funding available this year, as most sports charity funding comes from gambling establishments which are currently not allowed to open.
TTCF Grant Money: Fencing North currently has $10,000 from TTCF, which is available to spend on tournament running costs, pistes or a Favero scoring box. FeNZ has requested a Favero box from the FIE, so Fencing North should not purchase one yet. We currently do not have any tournament costs and we cannot predict when tournaments will begin again. Maja mentioned that we may be able to raise tournament fees to better cover operational costs.
Therefore David moved that the funds from TTCF be put towards two fabric pistes. James seconded. Motion carried.
Coaching Development Course: Judit discussed the current plans for a coaching development programme. She has been working with the FeNZ Coaching Commission to plan a course of four camps across this year and next year, as well as technical criteria for coaches. Judit will soon be contacting coaches to invite them to register with FeNZ, as well as discussing any requirements for registering.
Maintaining Engagement: The committee discussed how clubs, coaches and Fencing North could maintain engagement with fencers while clubs and competitions are closed. Some suggestions that were discussed:
- Some clubs and coaches have been sending out training and exercise programmes to their fencers and schools.
- Judit suggested maintaining social ties with fencers by building online groups.
- David suggested that Fencing North could run a fencing trivia quiz.
- Katie suggested posting refereeing tutorials and similar videos to the Fencing North Facebook page.
Meeting Closed: 8:35pm.