Contribution by Volker Hrovat

To The Secretary – NSW Fencing Association

The participation rate for Competitions in New South Wales has seen a steady decline over a period of years.
The reasons for this decline in participation can be levelled at the structure of competitions. One of the most
contributing factors to this decline is the combination of two and sometimes of three weapons on the day
of competition. There are many Veteran Fencers who want to participate in the Open as well but are not
able to do so due to the absence of Veteran Fencing later in the day. Veterans, Novices and Juniors
should be encouraged to participate in the Open together with all the other Fencers.

At the last NSW State Championships we had all three weapons for men and females on one day. Needless
to say the participation rate was alarmingly low (except Epee). Many Fencers want to fence in two if not all three
weapons in order to try out which weapon suits them best but are not able to so due to the problem outlined.
Veteran Fencers are always keen to fence in the Open in the morning and use it as a warm up. There are up
to 10 and more Veteran Fencers in each weapon that will add to the competition total. If Fencers do not
want to fence with Veterans then they are surely not needed. Our lack of good competitions is reflected
in a way that we have very few individual Fencers now as Champions of Australia. Even our teams at the
last National Championships were disappointing.

With our new venue we have a wonderful opportunity to fill this hall on every day of competition if arranged
intelligently. Competitions can be run by Fencers, if the usual people are not available, and the results can
be forwarded the next day to the NSW Association. But the need is to basically fence one weapon on the
day with the odd second weapon included. There are many ways to improve and I put forward some as
suggestions.

It is imperative to invite Veterans, Novices and Juniors to begin fencing together in the Open Competitions.
This way Fencers can regularly fence with the top Fencers in the country. From 1 PM the Veterans, Novices
and Juniors then fence their own competitions as well. A combination of Foil and Sabre and Epee and Sabre
can be arranged but one weapon per day is preferable. As participation increases we might be able have
only one weapon per day. A discount for the 2. weapon should be in place.
The competitions can look like this:

9 AM Foil Open Men & Women (all age groups encouraged)
1 PM Foil Veterans, Novices and Juniors
optional:
2 PM Sabre Open Men and Women (all age groups encouraged)
4 PM Sabre Veterans, Novices and Juniors

and or
9 AM Epee Open Men & Women (all age groups encouraged)
1 PM Veterans, Novices and Juniors
optional:
2 PM Sabre Open Men and Women (all age groups encouraged)
4 PM Sabre Veterans, Novices and Juniors

Regards,
Volker Hrovat