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SPORTSAID ATHLETES BIDDING TO REACH THE TOP

TRAVELLING 1,500 MILES A MONTH….SPORTSAID ATHLETES BIDDING TO REACH THE TOP!

Great Britain’s future Olympians and Paralympians are travelling nearly 1,500 miles every single month to train and compete according to SportsAid’s annual athlete survey. The survey, delivered by Nunki Solutions, a leading partner of the charity, aims to highlight the commitment and dedication shown by the next generation of athletes – and their families – as they look to pursue their sporting ambitions. The questions asked covered a range of topics including finance, biggest challenges, key motivations and the importance of SportsAid.

The survey, revealed on the opening day of SportsAid Week 2019, shows that athletes travel 373 miles in a typical week to get to training and competitions. That’s a huge jump from the 207 miles recorded last year. The majority of athletes train twice a day with the most frequent time for sessions falling between 5pm and 9pm. As you’d expect, with the distance covered getting to and from venues, travel is the single greatest expenditure for athletes followed by money spent on accommodation.

The overall average spend for a SportsAid athlete annually has risen from £5,022 to £7,089 over the last decade. The charity supported 1,058 athletes, mostly aged between 12 and 18 years old, in 2018/19. Therefore, the Bank of Mum and Dad, British sport’s most loyal and longstanding ‘sponsor’, committed more than £8m to support their talented children throughout the last 12 months. 15% of athletes would have had to either give up their sport or consider doing so without SportsAid.

The findings from the survey, which can be found in full below, have been released to coincide with SportsAid Week. The fundraising drive is taking place for the fourth consecutive year and has generated close to £150,000 since 2016. The money raised helps the charity to provide crucial financial support, national recognition and personal development opportunities to the country’s most promising young athletes during the early stages of their careers. There’s still time to get involved!  (https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/about/sportsaid-week/sportsaid-week-2019/)

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SPORTSAID’S ANNUAL ATHLETE SURVEY

2018/19 FINDINGS

RESPONDENTS

There was a total of 650 respondents – that’s a response rate of 62%. These athletes are the country’s brightest prospects. Each year, they are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports. There was a near even gender split (49% male, 51% female) overall with a slight skew among disabled athletes (55% male, 45% female). 80% are non-disabled (520 athletes) and 20% disabled (130 athletes). 88% compete in an Olympic or Paralympic discipline.

FINANCE

The overall average spend for a SportsAid athlete is £7,089. That’s a jump of £2,204 (over 45%) compared to the first survey conducted in 2007/08 – underlining the importance of the charity.

Overall average spend per athlete year-by-year….

2018/19 – £7,089

2017/18 – £7,266

2016/17 – £6,417

2015/16 – £6,193

2014/15 – £5,912

2013/14 – £6,193

2012/13 – £6,022

2011/12 – £6,438

2010/11 – £5,576

2009/10 – £4,898

2008/09 – £5,022

2007/08 – £4,885

100% of SportsAid athletes consider the award to be essential or helpful as it enables them to continue training and competing in their sport.

15% (that’s 98 athletes) would have had to consider giving up their sport without SportsAid. 4% (27 athletes) would have been forced to stop.

86% said the SportsAid award has relieved the financial pressure of their sport. 69% of athletes receive no other forms of financial backing.

Travel is the single greatest expenditure for 51% of SportsAid athletes – accommodation (11%) and equipment (11%) are the next biggest outlay.

72% feel costs are rising overall with 25% seeing no change. The remaining 3% believe their costs have fallen.

99% of athletes have spent part of their SportsAid award on travel with 83% also paying towards accommodation and equipment costs.

48% of athletes have used part of their SportsAid award towards paying for a specific piece of sporting equipment. 

BIGGEST CHALLENGES AND TRAINING HARD

SportsAid athletes are going to great lengths as they bid to reach the top of their sport. They travel large distances to keep up with their sporting schedule – all while balancing this with an already hectic lifestyle. They usually train during the evening but many have early morning sessions too.

A SportsAid athlete travels 373 miles, on average, every week to get to training and competitions. That’s 1,492 miles each month – the same as driving from London to Gibraltar!

22% of athletes spend between 20 and 24 hours per week training. 12% complete over 25 hours. 32% do between 15 and 19 hours.

The majority of athletes train twice a day. The most frequent time is between 5pm and 9pm (80%). 28% do sessions early in the morning within the window of 5am and 9am. 11% train after 9pm.

On average, a SportsAid athlete covers 47 miles a week in training. That’s the equivalent of running from Brixton to Brighton! And an increase of 4 miles from last year.

67% find balancing all the different areas of their lives as their biggest challenge. Money is an area of concern for 48%. 29% feel it is dealing with performance pressures. 

INSPIRATIONS AND MOTIVATORS

The key motivation for SportsAid athletes is the opportunity to compete internationally at the highest level. They see their family, as well as witnessing the success of other athletes, as the main driving forces behind why they took up their sport. Nearly half of disabled athletes are aiming to reach the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with the inspiration gained from London 2012 still front of mind.

37% of SportsAid athletes revealed their family acted as the single biggest inspiration when taking up their sport. 18% said it was seeing the success of other athletes. 13% saw it as their coach.

22% of disabled athletes said the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was their single biggest inspiration compared to 5% non-disabled.

41% say competing at the highest level internationally is what continues to motivate them. 21% feel enjoyment is the major factor. The success athletes have had so far in sport is the reason for 8%.

Over half of SportsAid athletes are pushing for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympics – 55% seeing this as a key target for the future. 42% of disabled athletes are aiming for Tokyo.

 

IMPORTANCE OF THE SPORTSAID AWARD

SportsAid athletes have felt the impact of the charity’s backing. The finance and recognition from SportsAid has given them a motivational boost while supporting them in reaching their targets. For many, it has enabled them to train and compete more often as they look to progress further.

98% said the SportsAid award they received motivates them. 97% revealed it has helped them to achieve their goals. 100% feel SportsAid support is either helpful or essential.

77% feel SportsAid support is helping them progress. 66% revealed they would not have been able to train and compete as much without SportsAid.

Receiving a SportsAid award has seen 51% of athletes able to focus more on their sport. 46% have improved their ranking with the charity’s support.

46% feel they have more self-belief having been presented a SportsAid award. 29% used their SportsAid award to help them recover from injury.

What will you do to #SupportTheNext generation of British sporting heroes? SportsAid needs your help to ensure talented young athletes can continue receiving the backing they rely on. You can make a regular donation to the charity and have a significant impact on the country’s sporting future (https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/get-involved/make-a-donation/).

Independent Governance Director Position

Independent Governance Director

Location: Nationwide

Organisation: British Disability Fencing

Salary: Voluntary

Closing Date: 12th September 2019

Independent Governance Director

Background

British Disability Fencing is the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of Wheelchair Fencing in the United Kingdom, and is an unincorporated charity, with an application for incorporation pending. 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, and are in receipt of some financial assistance from UK Sport.

Job Description

British Disability Fencing (BDF) is currently inviting applications for an independent director on our Board. We are looking for someone to drive the change process of incorporation, formulate policies, and provide guidance on practices and procedures that are relevant and necessary for the good governance of our sport.

Whilst no remuneration is currently available for the role of governance director, 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 12th September 2019.

Independent Chairman Position

Independent Chairman

Location: Nationwide

Organisation: British Disability Fencing

Salary: Voluntary

Closing Date: 12th September 2019

Independent Chairman

Background

British Disability Fencing is the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of Wheelchair Fencing in the United Kingdom, and is an unincorporated charity, with an application for incorporation pending. 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, and are in receipt of some financial assistance from UK Sport.

Job Description

British Disability Fencing (BDF) is currently inviting applications for an independent chairman on our 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 charity seeking incorporation, and applications are welcome from individuals with the skills to lead this transition 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 12th September 2019.

World Cup, Sao Paulo – the fifth qualification competition for Tokyo 2020

Piers and Dimitri deliver again

Piers and Dimitri had a very successful trip to Sao Paolo, with Dimitri taking gold in both the Cat B foil and epee competitions, and Piers taking gold in the Cat A epee and bronze in the sabre.

In the Cat A sabre Piers had 5 wins and no losses, and was ranked 2 in the tableau of 32, had a bye in that round and beat Citerne of France 15-3 in the L16. In the L8 he met and beat Shaburov of Russia 15-12. In the semi finals Piers lost to Demchuk of Ukraine 15-11.

Piers receiving his bronze medal from Udo Ziegler (IWAS)

In the Cat B foil Dimitri had 4 wins and no losses in the poules and was ranked 2 in the tableau of 32. He had a bye in the L32 and met and beat the Iraqi Ali Amar 15-3 in the L16. In the L8 he beat the Italian Cima 15-6, and in the semi-final he beat Khamatshin of Russia and in the final he met and beat Kamalov of Russia 15-5.

Dimitri with his first gold medal.

In the Cat B Epee poules Dimitri had a shocker by his standards with just 3 wins and 3 losses. He was ranked 15th in the tableau of 32 with Shah Rashid one place below him also with 3 wins and 3 losses. In the L32 Dimitri beat Massarutti 15-10, Shah lost to Pluta 15-6. In the L16 Dimitri beat his nemesis Ali Amar 15-12 and progressed to the L8 where he met Kurzin of Russia and won 15-4. In the semi-final Dimitri beat his old friend Sasha Kuzyukov of Russia 15-9 and in the final – Oleg Naumenko of Ukraine 15-6.

Dimitri getting his second gold medal from Charmaine Hooper CEO of IWAS

Men’s Cat A epee saw Piers take 5 wins and no losses in his poules and was ranked 3 in the tableau of 64 receiving a bye to the L32 where he met Canadian, Ryan Rousell. A victory 15-4 saw him progress to the L16 where he met Noble of France, winning 15-5. In the L8 he beat the Italian Lambertini 15-8, and in the semi-final he beat Yusupov of Russia with the same score. In the final Piers defeated Schmidt of Germany 15-4.

Piers getting his gold medal.

In the team epee GB beat Italy 45-41, lost to Iraq 45-43, beat Brazil 45-29 and beat Ukraine 45-43 to finish 5th.

Other notable performances came from Gemma Collis-McCann who fenced well in the women’s Cat A sabre, beating Soares of Brazil in the L32 and taking the current world number 1, Morkvych to 15-10 in the L16 match.

Mat Campbell-Hill also fenced well in the Cat A epee, winning 4 poule matches and taking some interesting scalps along the way. Ollie Lam-Watson had a consistent competition in both foil and epee, winning 3 poule matches and being competitive in his DE’s.

Shah Rashid was unlucky to catch a referee on a bad day in the sabre. Shah once again fenced consistently.

One sad note from this competition was the Greek coach who collapsed on the piste after complaining vehemently about the refereeing. He was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack and kept in hospital overnight.

International Camp and Antibes Competition

A number of GB fencers have just returned from a successful camp in the South of France. Gemma Collis-McCann and Ollie Lam-Watson both returned with medals. Gemma won gold in Women’s Epee, silver in Foil and Bronze in Sabre. Ollie won Silver in the Men’s Foil.

Junior fencers Emily Holder and  Abi Marshall also attended.

Well done to all our fencers

World Cup, Pisa- the fourth qualification competition for the Paralympic Games Tokyo2020

Another Solid Performance by Piers

Piers came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders in Pisa. He blitzed the poules and was ranked 1 in the tableau of 64. In DE he beat Morelli 15-1 in the L32, Lemoine 15-5 in the L16, Noble 15-5 in the last 8, and Giordan 15-4 in the semi final. In the final he met Demchuk and won 15-12.

In the Epee Piers was ranked 1 in the tableau of 64 after poules. He had a bye to the L32 where he beat Rousselot 15-5, Noble 15-10 in the L16, Pender 15-9 in the L8 and Chen 15-14 in the semi final. He met Shaburov in the final and lost 15-14 after a nail biting last minute of extra time.

Dimitri had a disappointing competition by his very high standards.

In the Men’s Cat A Foil Dimitri was ranked 4 after poules and had a Bye to the L16 where he met and beat Beych 15-5. In the last 8 he met Chinese fencer, Feng and lost 15-11.

In the Epee Dimitri was ranked 1 after poules. He had a Bye to the L16 where he met and beat Fujita 15-7, then Datsko 15-10 in the L8, but he lost 15-14 to Cratere in the semi final.

Other creditable performances were by Mat Campbell-Hill who was ranked 18 after Sabre poules. Mat was beaten by Dronov 15-8 in the L32.

Ollie Lam-Watson had a storming poule in the Cat A Epee taking the scalp of Betti along the way and was rank 21 after poules. He beat Chu 15-2 in the L64, and then lost 15-11 to Mahula in the L32.

In the Foil Ollie took some more notable scalps in the poulesand was ranked 19 in the tableau of 64. In the L32 he was beaten 15-9 by Pender.

In the Women’s Cat A Epee Gemma Collis-McCann beat Kelman 15-5 in the L32 but was then beaten by Maya in the L16. In the Cat B Epee Justine Moore had a miserable poule, and was ranked 25th in the tableau of 32. She was the last athlete to make the cut and in the L32 DE she met the very good Chinese fencer Zhou. Justine won the match 15-14, leaving Zhou distraught.

In the Men’s Foil Team event GB finished in 6th place.

Sharjah World Cup – the third qualifying competition for the Paralympic Games Tokyo2020, And Junior World Championships.

Three in a Row for Gilliver

Piers Gilliver made it three in a row in the Cat A Men’s Epeebeating old adversary, Gang Sun 15-10 in the final. Piers started the day with number 1 ranking in the tableau of 64 after poules. He beat Betti 15-6 in the L32, Nalewajek 15-10 in the L16, Chen 15-11 in the L8, and Al Madhkoori 15-6 in the semi final.

The added bonus was a silver medal in the Sabre, beaten 15-8by Ntounis in the final, but not before Piers had beaten Dabrowski 15-3 in the last 32, Pellegrini 15-6 in the last 16, El Assine 15-10 in the L8 and Giordan 15-10 in the semi

Dimitri with his dad, Najib
Dimitri gave another display of consistency, but also had the feeling of Déjà vu. In the Men’s Cat B Foil he was ranked 1 in the Tableau of 32 and progressed through the DE’s without being troubled. In the final he met Daoling Hu of China. The lead changed hands several times, Dimitri losing 15-14 and having to settle for the Silver medal. The following day he again breezed through the poules, and took his DE’s in his stride. However, in the final he met Daolong Hu for the second day running and the final had the same outcome, with Dimitri having to settle for Silver yet again.

The rest of the GB fencers turned in some very creditable performances. Ollie and Mat both fenced well in the Men’s Cat A Epee and were ranked 15th and 16th respectively after poules. In the last 32 they both put up a good show against much higher ranked opposition.

In Women’s Cat B Epee Justine Moore returned to competitive fencing after an absence of 7 years, and beat 3 opponents in the poules and was ranked 12th in the tableau of 32. She beat Santos of Brazil 15-5 in the L32, and lost 15-14 to Anri Sakurai, the eventual bronze medalist in the L16.

In the Cat A Epee Gemma Collis-McCann was well positioned after poules and in the L32 beat Afonina of Russia, 15-12. In the L16 she then beat Mandryk of Ukraine 15-9, but went out 15-11 to Yu of Hong Kong in the L8.

Junior World Championships

In the Junior World Championships Josh Waddell blew away the opposition in the poules of the Men’s U17 Foil, and was ranked 1 in the tableau of 16. He breezed through the DE’s but lost 15-12 in the final to Schrader of Germany. In the Men’s Epee it was a similar story. Josh bossed the poulesbeing ranked 1 in the tableau of 16. He again met little resistance in the DE’s and again met Schrader in the final. This time the result was reversed, Josh winning the final 15-6.

In the U23 Foil competition Josh was ranked 8 in the tableau of 32. He got a bye in the L32, and then in the L16 beat Ryan Rousell of Canada 15-10. In the L8 Josh lost 15-8 to the Russian, Gavrilenkov.

In the Epee after poules Josh was ranked 3 in the tableau of 32. In the L16 he beat Haupt of Germany 15-11, but in the L8 lost to Maurice Schmidt of Germany 15-9.

In the Epee Team Event GB were ranked 13th, and had to fight all day for a decent end result. They beat Italy 45-25 in the first match, then lost to Iraq 45-31. Their third match was against Ukraine which GB won 45-32. The final match was against France to decide 5th and 6th placings. GB won 45-44 and with a final place of 5th.

Here is Josh Waddell with his coach Ritrawe Sutera

Kyoto World Cup – the second qualifying competition for the Paralympic Games Tokyo2020

Gilliver and Coutya Deliver Again
Different venue – same result. Wheelchair fencing visited Japan for the second qualifying
competition, in a dress rehearsal for the main event in Tokyo in 2020. The event was well
attended and was a high profile occasion, reported on by a vast array of media.
Piers Gilliver showed his determination and consistency once more in a highly contested
category, taking the Gold medal in the Cat A Men’s Epee, and also making the L8 in the
Sabre. Dimitri Coutya, the ultra-consistent team mate took Bronze in both the Cat B Men’s
Epee and Foil.
Gemma Collis-McCann had a L16 $nish in the Cat A Women’s Epee, and Ollie Lam-Watson,
Josh Waddell and Mat Campbell-Hill all had L32 $nishes in their weapons.
The Men’s Foil Team finished in 6th place

Tbilisi World Cup – The start of qualification for the IPC/IWAS Paralympic Games Tokyo2020

Gilliver and Coutya in the medals again

The first qualifying competition for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics was held in Tbilisi in
November 2018. It is the first time wheelchair fencing has been held in Georgia, and the
teams were made very welcome by our hosts.
Piers Gilliver started in storming fashion taking the Gold medal in the Cat A Men’s Epee.
Dimitri Coutya was not far behind taking Silver in the Cat B Men’s Epee and Bronze in the
Foil.
Gemma Collis-McCann had a L16 finish in the Cat A Women’s Epee, and L32 in Foil and
Sabre. Ollie Lam-Watson and Josh Waddell both fenced well and had L32 finishes in Cat A
Men’s Foil and Epee. It was also good to see returning fencer Mat Campbell-Hill in action.
The Men’e Epee team finished in 9th place.

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