Update: Club Reopening

Dear Members,

Apologies for the lack of updates in the last weeks, it has been a time of change, both in terms of covid regulations, and in terms of new processes for the club. While we had returned to fencing, we also had to take a phased approach to reopening memberships due to limited space in our venue.

However, with the lifting of many restrictions, we are happy to announce that the club is open to all new members once again. To sign up for membership, please follow this link, which will allow you to request a direct debit mandate for monthly membership. Non-members will also be able attend Open Sessions by paying a £10 fee at the door.

New Fencer Guidance

While many restrictions have been lifted, and we no longer require fencers to book a space at the club in advance, some precautions are still in place, and these can be found in our new Fencer Guidance and Risk Assessment.

Please read these before attending a club Open Session or Class and be aware of their stipulations. If you have any questions, please email us.

Restarting Classes

EFC will be restarting U-18 Youth classes from Wednesday, August 25th, 2021:

  • Youth Foil – Wednesdays 6.00 – 7.30PM
  • Youth Sabre – Thursdays – 7.00 – 8.30PM

If fencers are interested in joining these classes, please follow this link, or email us if you have any questions.

New Class

Starting Wednesday, 25th August EFC will be running beginner plastic fencing classes, taking place every Wednesday from 6.00 – 6.45PM for 6 weeks.

These classes are aimed at introducing younger children to fencing in a safe and fun environment. Signups are open to any children in Primary 3 or older (ages 6-7), and are available at £70 per person for the 6 week course.

Due to space constraints at our current venue, we are able to offer just 12 places in this class, which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis via this registration link.

We will endeavour to process all new memberships and class registrations as quickly as possible, but please bear with us as we get the club underway again as we are dealing with an unusually high demand.

Best Wishes,
The EFC Committee

Fencer Guidance and Session Risk Assessment

We ask all EFC fencers to read the following two documents, Fencer Guidance and Risk Assessment. Please make yourself familiar with them, it is for all participants’ health and safety, including your own!

The Fencer Guidance reads as follows:

Fencer Guidance – Beyond Level 0

Despite eased restrictions, you must not attend the club if you have any symptoms of Covid 19.

Beyond this, it is the responsibility of all club fencers, coaches, officials and spectators to follow the guidelines below and report any lapses to the club committee.

Sign-In

When you arrive at the club, every individual person attending will be required to sign in for the evening using a digital form. This form collects contact details for NHS Test & Protect.
A laptop will be provided for sign-in which will be cleaned between uses, but to avoid unnecessary queues, this digital form will also be made available to mobile phones.
Paper sign-in will not be accepted, anyone who does not sign-in digitally will be unable to enter the hall.
Non-members wishing to fence at an open session may do so, but must pay the £10 fee to the Session Covid Officer at the door. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
If you believe you should be exempt from wearing a mask, please contact the club Welfare Officer, or mention it to the Session Covid Officer at the door.
Please advise your coach or the session first-aid officer if you have any injuries or medical conditions that they need to be aware of. This can be done via email to the coach or club account or in person before the start of your fencing session.

Arrival/Departure

Your first action after arrival should be to fill out the digital sign-in form.
Parents/Guardians should drop-off and collect from within the car park without entering the building, unless they intend to be a spectator for evening. Parents/Guardians are advised to remain until their child has been admitted to the club.
Please wear your face covering at all times when not fencing or taking part in fencing-related physical activity, and maintain a social distance of at least 1m where possible and follow any guidance or signage about moving through the venue, such as one-way systems.

During the session

Face Masks & When to Wear Them

Wear a face covering before and after activity. To be clear, if you are between fights, you are not participating in an activity and you should wear a face covering.
Clean your hands before and after exercise, whenever you remove your fencing glove, whenever you enter or leave the room, and after every contact with shared equipment.

Sparring Groups

For open sessions, fencers will be grouped together at the start of the session, and should only fence with people in that group, not members of another group. Determining the makeup of these groups during an open session will be the responsibility of the Session Covid Officer, in consultation with the attending members.
There is no upper limit to the size of a “sparring group”, but the club recommends that groups be kept as small as possible.
Classes will be considered to be one “sparring group”

To illustrate with an example: A Tuesday Open Session is attended by 10 foilists, 8 epeeists and 6 sabreurs. After conferring with the fencers, the Session Covid Officer determines that the the groupings for the evening will be 10 foilists in Group 1, 8 epeeists in Group 2 and the 6 sabreurs in Group 3. A foilist from Group 1 should not fence with a fencer from Group 2.

Social Distancing

Despite a lack of legal restrictions, all those attending the club should try to maintain a 1m social distance while not participating in physical activity. This includes while waiting piste-side.
Do not shake hands. Salute from your enguarde line.
Please do not touch anyone else’s personal equipment and endeavour to keep your bags spaced out around the edges of the room.
Each fencer will plug themselves in and out of the box. Communal touchpoints on electric boxes such as buttons and sockets should be cleaned with an antiviral wipe by the fencer touching them before and after. Wipes will be provided. Remotes may also be used but should be disinfected if transferring use from one fencer to another.
Please remove all litter from the premises.
Use of the toilet is restricted to one person at a time. The only facility available is the disabled toilet located just outside the fencing hall. Remember to wear your face covering and use hand sanitiser before and after going to the toilet.
The equipment cupboard is off limits to fencers.

1 To 1 Lessons

Coaches are able to give 121 lessons to individuals at this time. However, coaches should not give lessons to more than one “sparring group” in one open session.
Where possible, 121 lessons should be held at the far side of the hall from the entryway near the external double doors, where airflow and circulation is greatest.

Spectators

The sessions and classes are now open to spectators. While we want to remain accessible and open as a club, we are mindful of the ongoing pandemic and keen to mitigate the risk as much as possible and would therefore encourage members and their friends and families to keep spectating to a minimum.
Spectators are required to wear masks at all times, and will be directed to a spectator area within the fencing hall, and should refrain from mingling with the club attendees where possible. They should also endeavour to maintain social distancing of 1m or more at all times.

Enhanced Cleaning

All touchpoints on club equipment – spools, remotes,scoring systems, extension cords, etc. – should be cleaned with a disinfectant wipe at the end of a session. All benches or other Edinburgh leisure equipment should similarly be disinfected.
It is the responsibility of the Session Covid Officer, as well as every attendee to ensure that this cleaning is completed before leaving the club hall.

Sharing Fencing Kit

Fencing kit should not be shared between fencers within a session. Where fencing kit is shared among fencers in between sessions, fencers should follow the cleaning and/or quarantine recommendations in the British Fencing Cleaning Protocols

Newsletter #4 – July 2021

Update – Resumption to Fencing

As we are sure you are all aware, Scotland has been in Level 0 Covid restrictions since Monday the 19th, and the committee is working hard to return to indoor fencing for all from August 3rd.

However, while we are keen to get back to fencing as quickly as possible, there are numerous considerations before we are able to do so. This includes updating risk assessments and hall setup in line with the new Scottish Fencing guidelines, updating our booking system and various other admin tasks. Not least of which is preparing our new direct debit system, which will allow us to collect memberships more effectively.

Rest assured that we are working as hard as we can to get everyone back to fencing safely and sustainably as soon as possible, and that we will be opening bookings, and memberships, very soon.

In the meantime, please keep an eye on your inbox for further updates.

Best Wishes,
The EFC Committee

Update – U18 Fencing Sessions resume 28th April 2021

UPDATE FROM EDINBURGH LEISURE REGARDING U18 RESTART

Unfortunately we have just received word from Edinburgh Leisure that Hall availability at St Thomas’ will be affected by the Formal Assessments and Exams taking place over the next few months. Therefore the start date for our return to fencing for U18’s has had to be amended.

Please be aware that our first session back will now be the Cadet Foil and Sabre Class at 18:15-19:45, on be Wednesday 28th April, and the U18 Open Session originally scheduled for Tuesday 27th, will now be happening on Thursday 29th April at 19:30-21:00.

There will also be further interruption meaning the 10 week period between 28th April and 30 June will have a three week break to accommodate Final Exams. Therefore sessions will now only run on the following dates,

  • Wednesday 28th April Foil & Sabre Cadet Classes
    Thursday 29th April U18 Open Session
  • Tuesday 4th May U18 Open Session
    Wednesday 5th May Foil & Sabre Cadet Classes
  • Tuesday 11th May U18 Open Session
    Wednesday 12th May Foil & Sabre Cadet Classes

– Three week break from Fencing –

  • Tuesday 8th June U18 Open Session
    Wednesday 9th June Foil & Sabre Cadet Classes
  • Tuesday 15th June U18 Open Session
    Wednesday 16th June Foil & Sabre Cadet Classes
  • Tuesday 22nd June U18 Open Session
    Wednesday 23rd June Foil & Sabre Cadet Classes
  • Tuesday 29th June U18 Open Session
    Wednesday 30th June Foil & Sabre Cadet Classes

Details about booking and payment were sent via email, please check your inboxes, or get in touch with membership@edinburghfencingclub.co.uk

We are hoping for the restrictions to ease further over the coming weeks. Once Edinburgh reaches Level 0 – hopefully in June – we can invite our much missed 18+ fencers back into the hall too!

Don’t miss the last two fencing sessions of 2020

To all our U18 Fencers

Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th December are the final sessions of 2020 before we take a break for Christmas. Sessions will resume in January 2021 subject to any Covid restrictions which may be in place, so keep a watch on your email inbox, Facebook or our new look Website for updates.

Bookings for the above two sessions are now open and accessed via the usual link. Due to restrictions placed on us by Scottish Fencing, all fencers must book their attendance in advance via the booking system.


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.

Limited weekly sessions for U18s resuming soon

We are very pleased to be able to announce that keeping within Government and Scottish Fencing Guidelines, EFC are working towards reopening for our U18 Annual Members on 24th and 25th of November. Full details of the U18 sessions we will be offering, and how to reserve a place, will be sent via email once we finalise our plans and receive risk assessment approval from Scottish Fencing.

We are limited to only opening on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to begin with. Don McKenzie and Naomi Farmer will return to run our Wednesday Cadet Foil and Sabre Classes, all session start and end times will need to be adjusted to allow for cleaning and set-up/take-down, there will be restrictions on numbers to allow for social distancing, and fencers will need to book their place in advance. Although our Kit policy is that owning at least Basic Kit (Glove, Breeches and Mask) is now compulsory, we appreciate that current circumstances may make this prohibitive for some of our young fencers to return to the club. Therefore we are introducing a new Club Kit Deposit Scheme, where certain items can be borrowed for a set period, by paying a refundable deposit. It is still mandatory for everyone to own their own glove, and we will advise on the best option for you.
Our Armourer Martin can take orders for free delivery to the club, and 10% discount on Allstar and Uhlmann branded items (other suppliers and brands are available).

So, watch out club members, for email updates!

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.