Fencing North Meeting - May 2020

Fencing North Committee Meeting – 4th May 2020


Meeting Opened: 7:10pm

Present: David Elder, Amanda Hopkins, Sunnie Sun, Katie Logan, Maja Saran, Judit Fliszar, Mary Black, Matthew Houtman, Rhys Greensill, James Harwood, Kyle Macdonald.

Apologies: Peter Butler.

Confirmation of the Previous Minutes: David moved that the minutes for April be accepted as correct. Maja seconded. Motion carried.

Matters Arising: Katie noted that she had not posted any refereeing videos to the Fencing North Facebook page as promised.

Treasurer’s Report: Amanda gave the Treasurer’s Report. There have been no payments made or received since the previous meeting.
Amanda moved that her report be accepted. Maja seconded. Motion carried.

Coronavirus Update/Current Status: David reported that the Fencing New Zealand COVID19 Committee would be meeting soon to decide on which levels clubs and competitions could be reopened. This would be based on the revised Level 2 guidelines to be reported by the Government and Sport New Zealand on Thursday. Check the Fencing New Zealand website for updated information.

Fencing New Zealand has now cancelled both the South Island Champs and the President’s Cup. FIE has cancelled all tournaments in April, May and June, and postponed the Olympic Qualifiers.

The committee discussed whether we would be comfortable opening our clubs at Alert Level 2. Without knowing the updated guidelines, most agreed that it should be possible for clubs to start opening at Level 2. This would require appropriate rules for sanitising, equipment usage, distancing and contact tracing. It might be safer to allow clubs to open for footwork and drills only, since it is impossibly to guarantee physical distancing during a bout.  Clubs should only open if they are confident that they can comply with these requirements.

Competitions: Fencing North’s tournament organisers continue to monitor the situation together with Trusts to confirm which competition bookings we will be using in the following months.

The committee discussed whether we would be comfortable beginning to run tournaments at Level 2. In general, it was agreed that it might be possible but would need careful handling. Maja noted that she could use RegisterNow to require that all competition attendees (including spectators and volunteers) have a ticket, which would help with contact tracing and the size limit of gatherings at Level 2. However, younger fencers are required to have caregivers, which might cause difficulties with numbers.

David reported that the COVID19 committee has discussed each region having a big tournament to celebrate the end of restrictions. The aim would be to encourage as many people as possible to participate, for example by running a Sharks and Minnows tournament.

Katie suggested that it might be better to wait a few weeks after the Alert Level drops and clubs reopen to allow people enough time to feel comfortable and get back into condition.

Among the committee, some people would be comfortable attending a competition at Alert Level 2, while others would prefer to wait until Level 1. David promised to bring Fencing North’s views to the FeNZ COVID19 committee.

Fundraising: Rhys reported that the fundraising situation has changed dramatically: since many trusts do not currently have any income, they will be revising funding rounds. In general it will be very unlikely for us to succeed in applying for our big equipment and operations goals. He suggested that we apply for small grants around $1000-2000. Amanda suggested that he apply for funding for the coaching course that Judit is developing; David added the suggestion of funding first aid courses for coaches and volunteers.

Last month the committee agreed that the TTCF funding would go towards fabric pistes. However, it may be that the Auckland Council grants us funding for the same items. For now we agreed to wait until we heard back from the Council about our application.

FeNZ News: David and Amanda reported the news from Fencing New Zealand.

Fencing New Zealand has announced that nominations for postponed international events will be re-opened with emended selection criteria.

Bryan (Baz) Clark has resigned at the head of the Officiating Commission. There is no candidate for the role as of yet. Fencing New Zealand and Fencing North would like to recognise Baz’s contributions to the commission.

Other Business:

Help for Clubs: Although neither Fencing New Zealand or Fencing North can offer monetary assistance, there is some help available for clubs (e.g. legal advice, HR services). David invited any clubs having problems to email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Privacy Enquiries: Following discussions in a previous meeting, Matt contacted the Privacy Commission with several key questions regarding Fencing New Zealand and Fencing North’s handling of fencer personal information. The key summary is that when we ask for personal information we have to make it clear what the information will be used for and who will have access to it. He recommended that the following information be added to statement that members will be required to agree to when they affiliate:

  • When you sign up, you are becoming a member of both Fencing New Zealand and the relevant regional child organisation (e.g. Fencing North).
  • The information will be stored in an online database accessible only to authorised people from those organisations.
  • Authorised people may use this information to contact you as required.
  • Some limited personal information (e.g. name, weapon and club) will be displayed publicly on the Fencing New Zealand website.
  • If you enter a regional or national competition, the information you submit to the competition organisers will be used to publish tournament entries and results online.

Amanda agreed to bring these to FeNZ.

Matt noted with regards to the latter point that this can be covered by an initial consent upon affiliation and does not need to be repeated for each competition. There is no difference in how minors’ personal information is treated.

Coaching Commission: Judit reported on the activities of the Coaching Commission. They have completed a registration standard for coaches in New Zealand, which will soon go out to the regions for distribution. This includes requirements for a police check and first aid certificate, although there will be leeway for coaches who cannot complete these during lockdown restrictions.

There are still plans to do four training courses, but these will probably have to wait until the end of Level 2. There is no need to complete all of the courses this year.

Meeting Closed: 8:36pm.

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