Wishing You a Happy 2021!

Dear EFC Fencers

As we move ever closer to 2021 thoughts are filled with hope and optimism for better times to come.

Although 2021 will begin in Lockdown the continued roll out of the vaccine gives us all hope that there will be better times ahead. Things may not be quite what they were pre Covid, but we are ever optimistic that soon we will be able to welcome you all back to fencing with us again.

It was so great to have some of our U18 members back at the club enjoying four weeks of Tuesday Open Sessions and Wednesday Cadet Classes before the Christmas Break, and we anticipate that these sessions will resume again in early February. With all being well but of course subject to Government and Sport Governing Body regulations, we look forward to the time when we can also welcome back adults to indoor contact sport… hopefully not too long after!

To cope with the new rules and regulations a lot of very hard work has gone on behind the scenes and inevitably there have been some changes to the way we now operate. For NHS T&P purposes all sessions must be booked in advance and a Health Declaration made, due to social distancing our session numbers and room capacity has been limited, and with greater emphasis being put on the health and safety of using shared equipment the rules surrounding the need to own your own kit have tightened. To assist with this in particular we have introduced a Kit Deposit Scheme to enable those who haven’t yet acquired their own kit to still be able to participate safely. Further details including our ‘Fencer Guidance’ document can be found on the Covid-19 Info page of our new look EFC website. Links to the booking system and Kit Deposit Scheme will be emailed out when we have confirmed restart dates for next year.

Thank you for all the kind words and good wishes over the last few difficult months… You have all been missed, and our coaches and volunteers are desperate to have you all back fencing again! Sincere wishes to you all for a very Happy and Healthy 2021.

Kind regards,
The Committee
Edinburgh Fencing Club

We are back in the hall!

We are very please to say that the U18 fencers are back in the hall for their first sessions in eight months time. Seven foilists and two sabreurs enjoyed a 90 minute Open Fencing Session on the box last night. Our Foil and Sabre Cadet Class will resume tonight too.

All U18 members please check your emails for upcoming invitations to book a session on 1./2., 8./9. and 15./16. December.

EFC U18 Members – British Fencing Membership Renewal Reminder

Please check your British Fencing Membership! If your membership expired since lockdown, please renew it before joining club sessions again.

We are planning to restart fencing for pre-lockdown EFC U18 members from the week 24th/25th November (more information to follow). Only members with an up-to-date British Fencing Membership will be allowed fencing within the club. 

Information about the different membership models can be found here: https://www.britishfencing.com/members/membership-info/membership-types/ If you have any questions, please contact our membership secretary membership@edinburghfencingclub.co.uk

(For the coming months no fencing competitions are scheduled, therefore the Recreational Membereship is sufficient for a start, which can be upgraded to a Compete Membership anytime competitions start appearing.)

Return to Fencing – for now for U18 only

We are pleased to announce, that fencing for U18 EFC club members will restart very soon:

Safe the date: We are working towards reopening on a limited basis for our existing U18 full monthly members from 24th of November. Further details to follow.

Over the last weeks we have been keeping a close eye on the Scottish Government, SportScotland, and Scottish Fencing guidelines. With last week’s announcement of the new 5-tier-system in Scotland (Edinburgh is level 3) and yesterday’s Scottish Fencing guidelines published we are finally in a position to restart fencing, at least for U18 fencers. 

The key points in the Scottish Fencing guidelines are as follows (details and full guidelines see here: https://www.scottish-fencing.com/news)

  • Fencing (indoor) for U18 can happen up to and including Level 3. This includes sparring and other forms of training done within the age groups although all adults are required to distance therefore no traditional lessons can happen but coaching from a distance is fine.
  • Fencing (indoor) for adults is only permitted at Level 0. From Level 1 upwards all adults not in the same household must distance as per the usual requirements (2 metres)

While it is great news for U18 fencers, we are sorry to hear that adult fencers will have to wait longer.

The committee is now working on getting their existing U18 members back into the hall. We will get in touch soon with the details.

‘Prepare’ Grant awarded to EFC to help us getting back on the piste

A big Thank You to Foundation for Scottish Fencing for awarding EFC with a £250 grant to help us getting “prepared” for the return to the piste.

Thank you also to our lead coach Don for applying for the grant. The money will be put to good use for hand sanitising products, wipes, and other safety equipment.

Now we only need to wait for Edinburgh Leisure to resume community lets, so we can run all necessary risk assessment checks to get back into the hall safely!

Return To Fencing Survey – for all EFC Fencers

The club’s Covid Group (with Martin Buckley as the clubs appointed Covid Officer) are working away behind the scenes looking at all the possible scenarios for our eventual return to fencing. Considering the government restrictions that are currently in place, it is looking unlikely that we will be able to return to our pre-lockdown session structure. We do hope to get as many of our fencers back fencing as soon as Edinburgh Leisure resumes our Let, but please be aware that sessions might need to look a little different to begin with.

To assist with our planning, we are asking all our fencers to please complete a Return to Fencing Survey as soon as possible. This will enable us to make the best decisions for getting everyone back and enjoying the club safely as soon as possible.

The survey will take around five minutes to complete, but please submit a separate survey for each fencer in your household.

EFC Return to Fencing Survey

For any questions or problems regarding the survey, please contact membership@edinburghfencingclub.co.uk

Update 26 June: EFC Remains Closed

EFC Remains Closed Until Further Notice

Today marks the end of term for many Edinburgh schools which would normally also mean a move to our summer timetable, and the Wednesday Cadet classes taking their annual summer break. As we operate out of a school our Let is managed by Edinburgh Leisure. Unfortunately to date, we have not had any indication from Edinburgh Leisure or the City of Edinburgh Council of when we may be able to expect School Lets to resume.

We don’t anticipate School Lets will resume before Phase 3 and the start of the new school term in August. As there is still some uncertainty regarding the level of restrictions which may need to be in place for schools in the new session, we are mindful that there may be a need for further delays to the resumption of School Lets.

Please know that we are very keen to get you all back fencing as soon as School Lets resume, and it is safe to do so. When we do have any information from Edinburgh Leisure, we hope to pass it along. In the meantime, for full information on Phase 2 restrictions relating specifically to fencing, please see  the latest Scottish Fencing guidance document.

Just a reminder that it is a club requirement that all fencers must now own at least basic kit (consisting of a well fitting Glove, Breeches and Mask); with an expectation that this will extend to each fencer owning full kit in due course. We would therefore urge you all to consider acquiring any personal kit you may be lacking, in time for when the club is able to reopen.

Stay healthy, stay safe and we hope to be able to resume club sessions in the not too distant future.

The Committee
Edinburgh Fencing Club