Fencing North Meeting - August 2020

Fencing North Committee Meeting – 31st August 2020


Meeting Opened: 7:00pm

Present: David Elder, Amanda Hopkins, Rhys Greensill, Sunnie Sun, Peter Butler, James Harwood.

Apologies: Maja Saran, Ryan Yan.

Confirmation of the Previous Minutes: Sunnie moved that the minutes for July be accepted as correct. Amanda seconded. Motion carried.

Matters Arising: David reported that we have now received both fabric pistes from Daniel Chan. The full invoice is still pending.
  Following the decision from last month, the senior referees selected Felix, Ewa and Charlie to attend the referee development course at the national secondary schools. However, that event has since been cancelled. Only Felix had purchased flights and been refunded by Fencing North. He has received credit for the flights, which Fencing North can use to send him to another course in the future.

Treasurer’s Report: Amanda gave the Treasurer’s Report. Fencing North currently has a surplus of approx. $7000, but pending expenses of approx. $7500 (with some costs and profits not yet accounted for). Some of the overall loss is due to the fact that we have not been able to hold most of the profitable secondary schools tournaments this year; however, this has been offset by the success of the other tournaments. She emphasised that we need to create a budget for tournaments to rationalise our costs and ensure that we do not continue to lose money. Amanda will work on this with Maja.
  Amanda moved that her report be accepted. Katie seconded. Motion carried.

Approval of Payments: The Larsen Open tournament brought in $729 of profit, which we had agreed to pass on to Waikato Swords club to support their operations. David moved that Fencing North pay this money to Waikato Swords Club. Katie seconded. All in favour.
  The committee discussed whether in future we would continue to pass on all of the profits of a tournament to the club running it. Opinion was divided: on the one hand, clubs would prefer to see the benefit of running tournaments come entirely to them; on the other, Fencing North has considerable fixed costs and relies on tournaments as its only source of income. It was agreed to shelve the issue for a full discussion at a later point.  

Covid19 – Current Status: Since the last meeting, Auckland has been at Alert Level 3 for three weeks and the rest of the country was at Level 2. As of the meeting, the whole country was at Level 2, but Auckland had additional restrictions limiting gatherings to 10 people.

Maja had noted that we could hold competitions at Level 2, with the appropriate limitations on numbers and implementation of distancing and hygiene. However, it would be impossible to hold tournaments at ‘Level 2.5’ with the additional gathering limitations. David will draft an announcement to this effect for the members of Fencing North.

Due to the change in alert levels, both the President’s Cup and NZ Secondary School Champs have been nominally postponed. The FeNZ board is considering whether either of these competitions will go ahead later in the year or next year. Currently the first weekend of February is pencilled in for the National U20s tournament.

Fencing North has begun organising the NZ National Senior/Veteran Champs, with a committee of David, Maja, Heather Claydon, Katie, Pete and Angus MacMorland. However, at this stage it is unclear whether the competition will be able to go ahead, as it cannot be held unless the entire country is at Level 1. Next week, or following any government announcements, the FeNZ Covid Committee will decide whether the competition should be opened for registrations.

Competitions: In the previous month, the Larsen competition in Hamilton was very successful, with a large number of Auckland fencers travelling to participate. It is likely that Waikato Swords will propose holding the tournament again next year, although it may also be moved the Whangarei.

The move to Level 3 forced us to postpone the Secondary School Sabre/Epee Teams event. This has been moved to later in the year in a newly revised Fencing North calendar. Note that the calendar is still subject to change, and fencers should always check the most up-to-date version on our website.

The next competitions upcoming are North age group events on the 19th-20th of September. At this stage it is not clear whether these tournaments will be able to go ahead, but the committee agreed that Fencing North could begin advertising and refund fencers if the competition was cancelled.

Fundraising: Rhys reported the current fundraising status. Fencing North has been successful in its application to the Auckland Council for funding for fabric pistes, with a grant of $13,500. This is complicated by the fact that we have already purchased two fabric pistes with other funding.  When we receive our funding agreement, he will confirm what we are required to spend the money on.

Rhys has sent an application to the Lion Foundation for the coaching development course. In addition, an application to Four Winds for sectional pistes is almost ready to be submitted, waiting only for updated quotes. We should soon receive an update on our application to the Albert Eden local board for the first aid course.

The next funding priority is the NZ Nationals event. Should that go ahead, it is expected to cost approx. $14,000.

The committee discussed a new funding opportunity from Sport NZ, that is open to almost any sporting organisation which has been impacted by Covid19. Rhys agreed to apply to this fund on behalf of Fencing North, as we have not been able to hold our most profitable competitions this year but we still have fixed costs and depreciation to cover. Fencing North encourages our clubs to apply via the Aktive website here.

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

Alice Boyd has been appointed to the role of Health and Safety Officer for FeNZ. In addition, Hamish Bulmer has been appointed to the FeNZ Officiating Commission, and Richard Johnson has become the FeNZ Privacy Officer.

The World University Games is being held in Chengu, China in August 2021. University fencers are encouraged to apply to attend.

David reported that FeNZ now has a transgender fencer policy. Katie will update Fencing North’s transgender policy to reflect the FeNZ one.

There was further discussion about how the national school team competitions should be handled in future. Hamish Clarke is to put together a subcommittee to sort out the issue.

Other Business: The committee discussed the Fencing North Christmas party for this year. We pencilled in the location of Amanda’s house and a date of the 29th of November.

Meeting Closed: 8:46pm.

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