Into the New Year with hope and
As always I will start my update
by hoping that you, your family and friends are
safe and well and have not been tragically
touched by the horrendous third wave of the
We have witnessed some historic changes in the
world these past weeks into the new year.
A contentious change of American Government, a
divided feeling of farewell to Europe and more
to home, the horrific death toll this country
has and is still continuing to experience during
its third lockdown.
And yet there is the glimmer of
hope as we gear up to the development of the
vaccines emerging. The gradual treatment and
inoculation to the most vulnerable people and
the essential front line service personnel. We
still have a bit more to endure!
As with my past updates I have
carefully monitored the general trend of the
government’s views and guidelines concerning the
lockdown restrictions in place. I tend to lean
towards the cautious scientific responses
outlined, rather than the political bias that is
Although I initially was
contemplating a reopening of the club at the
beginning of April (subject to restrictions
being lifted and relaxed measures of social
interaction), I have thought long and hard and
am a little more confident that by the end of
the Easter period (and April as a whole), that
things will start to ease off…a bit!
With that in mind I have decided
to firmly aim for a reopening in May…subject to
restrictions…etc. as already mentioned.
If and when we can return to the club, I propose
to keep the club open throughout what is left of
2021. Again this will be subject to any
development in restrictions and/or lockdowns
“It ain’t gonna be easy folks”,
but with your help and support I’m sure we can
rise to the challenges ahead, it will give us a
chance to “Dust the Rust” and get back on track,
to enjoy the activity we love.
Please give me any concerns or
comments you may have (even if it’s just a
‘Like’ or Thumbs Up!). Now it is just a case of
wait and see…there is a light at the end of the
tunnel and hopefully we’ll get to it very soon!
Stay Safe, Stay En Garde!
COVID-19 Risk assessment for Ashburton Fencing
These observations and guidelines have been
issued to all club members and new members to
ensure that they aware of them prior to their
arrival at the club.
Members and visitors are asked to bring with
them the appropriate face mask, sanitiser wipes
and/or gel. Because of safety requirements
anyone not adhering to this request will be
refused entry. This will not apply to those
that have a medical condition that exempts them
from wearing a face mask.
The COVID-19 officer for Ashburton Fencing Club
is Mike Smith and there will be other designated
monitors to ensure that the safety guidelines
are adhered to for the safety of everyone
attending a fencing session.
1. Any member who feels or shows
symptoms of fatigue, fever and irritating coughs
are asked to refrain from attending club
sessions until they are cleared of the symptoms
in compliance with the Covid-19 guidelines and
the required Government restrictions. Please use
basic common sense - if you don’t feel well
‘Stay at home!’
2. Upon check-in all members will be
required to undergo a temperature check using a
non-contact monitor and to give contact details
for Track & Trace. Any persons with a
temperature reading of 37.5 or higher will be
asked to return home. This also applies to
any persons refusing to give contact details.
Safety is paramount!
3. All members will be asked to wash
hands and use sanitiser gel/spray/wipes upon
4. Members will be allocated designated
seating areas around the hall at a 2 metre
distance from each seat. Members are asked to
observe the social distancing required when not
actively fencing. This will not apply to
members of the same family who will be able to
be seated together.
5. In good weather, members often fence
outdoors in the parking area behind the
building. The same restrictions regarding
social distancing will be observed outdoors.
6. The changing rooms will be monitored
with no more than 2-4 persons per change.
7. The shower room can be used for 1-2
8. Changing rooms and toilets will be
accessed through a ‘one way system’ using the
‘entry’ door from the main hall to the ‘exit’
door near the toilets.
9. Fencing activity is restricted to
groups of a maximum of six people from different
households, as long as they remain 2 metres
apart as far as possible.
We can have more than one group of six in a
hall, providing we are able to maintain social
distancing within the space available and the
total number of people (including non-fencers)
within the hall, does not exceed government and
venue guidelines on use of indoor space.
Fencers can rotate within their group and social
distancing must be maintained within this group
where at all possible. You cannot move to
another group(s) within an evening session.
Close quarter fencing is rarely used and members
are asked to refrain from this tactic while we
remain under special measures.
Bodily contact is strictly prohibited.
Fleching/running attacks are not permitted at
Participants should avoid any
shouting/screaming, particularly during 1:1
As a normal part of club fencing, protective
clothing, including a mask and glove, is
worn. British Fencing guidelines state that all
fencers are advised to wear a face mask under
their fencing mask when actively fencing.
The traditional handshake at the conclusion of a
match will be prohibited. A simple ‘sword
salute’ is deemed appropriate.
10. Access to the kitchen for water will
be monitored with no more than 2 persons
entering at a time.
11. All club equipment will be sanitised
- anti-bacterial spray for jackets and masks and
anti-bacterial spray/wipes for sword handles and
other equipment. Where the club provides
protective clothing, swords, or other equipment
to members, the members will be loaned this
clothing or equipment for their personal use
only until the pandemic has finished.
12. Before vacating the building all
door handles, surfaces, taps and anything that
has come into contact with members will be
sanitised with anti-bacterial wipes.
13. Our normal Thursday evening session
is from 18:00 to 21:30. Younger members tend to
arrive and depart in the first part of the
evening, older members tend to arrive later.
Although we may have approximately 20 members
fencing in the course of an evening, it is very
rare to have more than 10-15 present at one
time. The hall is large and it will be easily
possible to maintain social distancing for a
group this size.
14. Younger members are sometimes brought to the hall by
parents/guardians/visitors, who may stay until
their child has finished fencing. The same
rules regarding masks, hand washing, social
distancing, etc. will be applied to these
With your patience and understanding we
hope we can overcome what seems like ‘Draconian
measures’ during this time. But it’s for our own
safety and has to conform with both the TA
Centre venue operators and British Fencing
Covid-19 directives and guidelines.
advised that in the current outbreak of
Coronavirus all relevant advice, guidance and
updates can be found on the website here;
check updates here;
Specific questions have been
asked around the sharing and use of equipment
such as masks, gloves and jackets. The cleaning
and maintenance of all equipment should be
common practice in clubs. We recommend that all
clubs ensure that this is taking place in
accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
Most gloves can be washed in a
washing machine and masks should be regularly
wiped down, inside and out, either using
cleaning wipes or using a clean cloth and a
surface cleanser. Please check on the labelling
that the cleanser/wipes are effective against
both bacteria and viruses. Anyone now fencing on
a regular basis who has not already done so may
wish to consider purchasing their own fencing
SHAKING HANDS/HAND HYGIENE
BF has temporarily
suspended the requirement for fencers to shake
hands at the end of the competitive bouts.
It is recommended that clubs take similar action
and simply retain the salute to mark the end of
a bout or lesson.
It is also recommended that clubs
ensure that there are appropriate hand washing
facilities available for members, and encourage
handwashing at the beginning and end of each
PARTICIPANTS RETURNING FROM
If you have
new members expected or members returning from
abroad please ensure that they are aware of the
current guidelines around travelling and
You may wish to ask them to complete a short
questionnaire to confirm they have not been to
any category 1. country in the last 14 days or
any recent exposure (see example here)
If you have
any specific questions or issues please don’t
hesitate to get in touch.
Officer - Clubs
Fencing, 1 Baron's Gate,
33-35 Rothschild Road,
London W4 5HT