Chris is an open-minded, pragmatic and fair individual; attributes which are well suited to help the board reach consensual, balanced decisions that will help the sport grow and progress, from the grass roots to the elite level.
His background within the fencing community is from an able bodied perspective, and over the last seven years of involvement, he has competed both in the UK and abroad, gained coaching qualifications and used these at club level but also in assisting with a university performance programme. However, he has involved himself with the wheelchair fencers at his own club, so gaining an insight into their world, and he recently attended a wheelchair coaching course. In 2016 Chris was appointed as an active Non-Executive Director of the England Fencing Board.
On a personal note, he has recently retired from running his own business; something he has done successfully for more than twenty-five years, and acquired the ability to manage people’s expectations, as well as his own, and take effective decisions to allow the business to succeed even through poor economic climates.
Eileen has been involved in fencing for the past 25 years and progressed from training and competition chauffeur to assisting at GB run events and eventually becoming responsible for all the BF merchandise – liaising with the manufacturers re design and ordering and thence on to selling at the major BF events each year. She was also GB JMF squad team manager and accompanied the GB cadet and junior teams to various World and European Championships.
Following on from this she was the assistant team manager for England Fencing at the inaugural Junior Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Chennai, and was team manager at the last Commonwealth Championships (both Junior and Cadet) held in Cape Town in 2015. This was a mammoth task aided by Lorraine Rose. They arranged travel and accommodation for two full teams of fencers together with coaches and organized trips around Cape Town for all the team – almost 60 people over a 10 day period.
Eileen has also been the team manager for England at 8 School Games. This has been hard but fun as it is a 4 day event with 24 able-bodied fencers and 3 coaches and since 2011 it has involved wheelchair fencers and coaches as part of the team too.
It is through this connection with the wheelchair fencers and their family members that Eileen’s interest in Wheelchair fencing has developed, having learned so much through her contact with them and scratched the surface of what life with a disability is like. Eileen interested in getting the youngsters to advance to competitions around the world and show what they can achieve. She persuaded Piers Gilliver to attend his first School Games and has seen how success has changed his life. Josh Waddell was a School Games novice last year and in the year following became a World medallist. It is Eileen’s hope that more medallists will emerge in the future at all age levels.
Peter with Piers Gilliver
Viv has been involved with wheelchair fencing since 2009. She fenced for Great Britain from 2010 until the end of 2012, winning a bronze medal in foil at the Montreal World Cup in 2010 and a bronze medal in sabre in Hong Kong in 2012. After her retirement she retrained as a development coach and was involved in helping the GB fencers with their personal development until 2014.
Viv was briefly Acting Chairman of the BDFA from October 2013 until May 2014 and since has continued to be involved with the sport, travelling to most of the foreign competitions and providing voluntary support to the team. In 2014 Viv joined the Board of England Fencing as an Executive Director, with a remit to develop diversity in the sport.
Viv was appointed as an ambassador to wheelchair fencing in 2015 and she has worked on the expansion of the sport into a number of countries. In 2016 she was awarded the Fair Play Award for her services to wheelchair fencing worldwide.
Adebola is employed by the BPA, and has been the treasurer of the BDFA for 2 years.
Responsible for Governance
Responsible for Development
Responsible for funding opportunities