skip to main contentTop

Independent Chairman

Independent Chairman

Location: Nationwide

Organisation: British Disability Fencing

Salary: Voluntary

Closing Date: 1st April 2021

Independent Chairman


British Disability Fencing is the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of Wheelchair Fencing in the United Kingdom, and is a charitable company limited by guarantee. The organisation is responsible for the strategic leadership and development of wheelchair fencing in the UK, the development of grassroots structures in fencing clubs for fencers of all disabilities and the management and selection of the national squad.

Although a very small organisation, British wheelchair fencers currently hold the number 1 rank in the world in two different categories, two World Champions and has a World Class Programme funded by UK Sport and managed by EIS.

Job Description

British Disability Fencing (BDF) is currently inviting applications for an independent chairman on its Board. The directors share the responsibility for overseeing the management and development of the organisation and implementation of its strategic objectives whilst observing the wishes of its members.

The organisation is a small NGB seeking a merger with its bigger neighbour, British Fencing. Applications are welcome from individuals with the skills to lead this merger and move the organisation forward.

As part of our commitment to a diverse and skilled board we are seeking individuals who can bring a dynamic energy and enthusiasm to the role, and demonstrate expertise and knowledge in one or more of the following areas:

  • Working with elite sports and/or athletes
  • Business finance and strategy
  • Commercial and/or partnership development
  • Organisational governance
  • Working on or with committees

Whilst no remuneration is currently available for the role of chairman, all reasonable expenses will be paid when funds allow.

How to Apply

Please send a covering letter detailing how you meet the requirements of the role and a CV to [email protected]

Closing date for applications is 1st April 2021. Interviews will be held on 12th April 2021.

David Heaton

From the Chairman, British Disability Fencing.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of David Heaton, former Wheelchair Fencer and Chairman of the British Disabled Fencing Association.

David was a true warrior who represented his country for a period spanning more than twenty years, and competed in five Paralympic Games from Barcelona 1992, where he won a bronze medal in Men’s Sabre Team event, to London 2012, where he competed as part of the Men’s Foil Team.

As Chairman of the BDFA David presided over a period of significant development in the sport’s history, moving the organisation from an association to a charitable company, retiring in 2017.

The Board and members of British Disability Fencing send their condolences and deepest sympathy to David’s wife, Cindy, his family and friends at this very sad time.

Paul Davies


9th January 2021

Change of Name For The Sport

At the IWAS congress in November 2020 the delegates voted to change the name of the sport from Wheelchair Fencing to Para Fencing. By doing so it has enabled IWAS to create a new classification – visual impairment. The change will take place in 2022

England Fencing Awards for 2020

Gold – Viv Mills

Viv has worked tirelessly for many years to promote and support the sport of fencing within England. This has included serving on the board of England Fencing, organising and running the EYCs for multiple years, travelling the world supporting England teams, and lobbying MPs and anyone else she can meet with to get fencing back on the GCSE curriculum (amongst other things). Additionally, Viv has worked hard to raise awareness, recognition of and inclusion of wheelchair fencing athletes wherever possible.

British Fencing Awards for 2020


Viv Mills

For many years Viv represented GB internationally and after retiring from competition she has worked tirelessly to grow and develop British Disability Fencing and is a “true fencing stalwart with a heart of gold!”

Photo Courtesy of Yuka Fujita

IWAS Best Athletes for 2019

IWAS has announced the best Wheelchair Fencing athletes for 2019

1st – Category A Men – Epee – Piers Gilliver with 222 points

1st – Category B Men – Epee – Dimitri Coutya with 216 points

1st Under 17 Men – Epee – Joshua Waddell with 80 points

1st – Category B Men – Foil – Dimitri Coutya with 201 points

1st – Category A Men – Sabre – Piers Gilliver with 168 points

All our athletes are to be congratulated on their performances during the year which also resulted in 2 World Champions and 5 medals at the World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea.

Piers Gilliver – Wheelchair Fencing Athlete of the Year

Piers Gilliver has been awarded British Fencing’s Wheelchair Fencer of the Year award.

An excerpt from his nomination: “He is an outstanding fencer, World Champion and world ranked 1 at Category A epee, and World Championship bronze medallist and world ranked 3 at Category A sabre. After the gold and 2 x bronze medals at the World Championships Piers followed up with gold in epee, and a bronze in sabre at Amsterdam in November 2019, and again at Eger in February 2020. He is a true diplomat when he is abroad on international duty. The junior fencers look up to him and he always has time for them. At international competitions he looks after them, giving them encouragement and offering advice. He is always striving to improve the sport and is respected by athletes and officials from other nations when he makes suggestions.”

Photo Courtesy of Yuka Fujita

Peter Rome – UK Coaching’s High Performance Coach of the Year

The UK Coaching Awards is a unique opportunity for the sport and physical activity industry to honour and reward the work of #GreatCoaching across all levels in the UK. UK Coaching announced the news of Peter’s win during the online ceremony on December 3rd and shared some more information about his achievements:

Rome may not have been built in a day, but Peter Rome certainly didn’t waste any time constructing a formidable team when he was appointed Great Britain’s Lead Coach six months before the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

A silver medal for one of the two self-funded athletes who qualified signalled the start of a successful era, with Peter instrumental in securing UK Sport funding and building a team that is now a major force on the world stage – having won 20 international medals or more in each of the last two years.

Peter sets high standards but has the total respect and buy-in of his athletes by remaining calm under pressure, patient and clear in his messaging, and always leading by example with his own behaviour.

His attitude and manner towards all his fencers and fellow coaching staff is positive, supportive and encouraging. He listens to the ideas and opinions of everyone in equal measure and spends as much time with the newest fencer as the most experienced.

Peter says, “I’m truly honoured to receive this award. It means such a great deal to me considering the years I’ve dedicated to this sport and to wheelchair fencing in particular. It fills me with pride to see the sport come so far over the last few years and for me and the great team we have to be recognised on this national stage. I hope I can continue to be a coach and ambassador of the sport that helps to elevate and enrich fencing for many years to come.”

Three BDF members recognised by British Fencing

In November 2019 three BDF members were recognised for their contributions to fencing, by British Fencing.

Piers Gilliver and Dimitri Coutya were both awarded the British Fencing Silver Medal. In making the presentation and reading the citation, BF President, Hilary Philbin remarked on the extraordinary fencing achievements of both wheelchair fencers during the last four years, winning medals at every World Championships, Zonal Championships and World Cup. Hilary witnessed first hand their achievements at the World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea in September 2019, when each fencer won 2 individual medals and a team medal, and both had returned home as a World Champion. The award of the Silver Medal is richly deserved.

At the same ceremony Viv Mills was awarded the British Fencing Bronze Medal for services to fencing. In reading the citation, Hilary Philbin outlined Viv’s all-round contribution to  fencing, as an Executive Director of England Fencing, being responsible for the organisation of the England Youth Championships, for four years, and acting as Assistant Manager and Coach to the England Veteran’s Team at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Christchurch and Canberra. As Secretary of British Disability Fencing, having responsible for the day-to-day administration of the GB Wheelchair fencers, and traveling to all the international competitions as BDF Team Manager, and coach. Viv also coaches at her local fencing club.


World Cup Competition, Eger, Hungary

Day One

The penultimate World Cup for the qualifying period brought fencers together in Eger, Hungary,   in Mid February, at a time of uncertainty, as the Coronavirus had hit the Far East countries. As a result there were no athletes from China, and none from Iraq.

On day one Piers Gilliver in the Cat A sabre had 6 pool victories, and was ranked 1 in the tableau of 64. Mat Campbell-Hill in the same event had 2 pool victories, and was ranked 30. In the Direct Elimination Mat met Karpov and lost 15-8. Piers met Cheong and won 15-10, and went on to meet Noble, beating him 15-6. In the quarter finals he beat Schmidt of Germany, 15-10. In the semi-finals he lost 15-7 to Dronov of Russia and had to settle for the bronze medal.

In the Cat B foil Dimitri Coutya had 6 pool victories and was ranked 1 in the tableau of 32. In the Last 16 Dimitri beat Fujita 15-8 and went on the face Khamatshin in the quarterfinals. It resulted in victory to Dimitri 15-7. In the semifinals he beat Kamalov of Russia 15-9, to set up a final against Gaworski of Poland, which Dimitri won 15-11.

Gemma Collis McCann fenced with confidence in the women’s Cat A epee, taking 4 pool victories in the preliminary rounds. She was ranked 8 in the tableau of 32, and beat Nakprasit of Thailand 15-7 in the DE. She went on to beat Poignet of France 15-12 in the Last 16 but lost 15-4 to Maya of Russia in the quarterfinals.

Day Two

Oliver Lam-Watson and Josh Waddell fenced in the Cat A foil. They both had 2 victories in the pools, and were ranked 23 and 24 in the tableau of 64. They both progressed to the Last 32 where Josh lost to Yusupov, 15-4, and Ollie beat Tokatlian of France 15-13. In the Last 16 Ollie lost to Akkaya of Turkey 15-2 after sustaining an injury.

In the Cat B epee Dimitri finished the pools with 5 victories and one loss. He was ranked 3 in the tableau of 32 and progressed to the Last 16 where he was beaten 15-12 by Pranevich.

Day Three

On day 3 Piers, Josh, Ollie and Mat all fenced in the Cat A epee. After poules Piers was ranked 1, Ollie 19, Josh 25 and Mat 37, in the tableau of 64. Only Piers progressed to the Last 32, where he met and beat Sasajima of Japan, 15-2. In the Last 16 he beat Calka of Poland 15-5, and in the quarterfinals he beat Mahula of Ukraine, 15-2. In the semi finals Piers beat Schmidt of Germany 15-5, to set up a final against his old adversary, Shaburov of Russia. On this occasion Piers was victorious 15-9.

Shah Rashid fenced in the Cat B sabre. He had 3 victories in the pools and was ranked 12th in the tableau of 32, earning a bye through to the Last 16. In his Direct Elimination he met the top Italian fencer Marco Cima. It was a close fought match with Shah winning 15-12. In the quarter finals he met Kurzin of Russia, and lost 15-5. His final position was 8th.

Day Four

On day 4 GB fenced in the Men’s Sabre Team event. Starting the competition ranked 9 of 10. The first match pitched GB against France. Great Britain led from start to finish winning 45-34. However, that was the only success of the day. They lost 45-43 against Italy, which was a fantastic effort. They then lost 45-41 to Poland. In the final match against Germany there was a change in team personnel and order, and they lost 45-34, but a great effort by Shah who scored the most points, and a very creditable performance by Ollie with 12 points.

Want to Help Our GB Fencers?  We Need Your Help. Click to Donate