Reading Fencing clubs is always active with competitions against ourseleves and other clubs in the region.
From next week the Club will be open earlier on Monday evenings – from 6:30pm – to cater specifically for our younger members that are 9-13 years old. These sessions will be coached by Virgile who has been running our very popular group sessions on Wednesdays.
The Monday classes for juniors are a great opportunity for some additional coaching, with a warm-up and footwork session followed by a technical lesson – lasting approximately an hour – before supervised fencing on the electrical equipment.
Our first evening will be this coming Monday, 6 September; the sessions are free for members and will run on a trial basis until just before the Christmas holidays so please make the most of it and come along!
The interest in our beginner courses has continued to be strong, and we are finally in a position to announce the details of both our September and January classes.
Our beginner course consists of 10 lessons - 1 taster session, 8 regular lessons and then 1 competition (fighting for sweets!) at the end.
To register for a course each person will need to have submitted a Membership Form and the appropriate fee - details of these are below. If after the first lesson you do not wish to continue for whatever reason, we will refund your payment.
The Membership Form can be completed online - click here. The course fee is £100 and there is a discount for bookings of more than 1 person - £180 for 2, £250 for 3 and £300 for 4 - and details on how to pay can be found here.
Places are limited to 24 beginners per course, and due to the significant number of people on our waiting list we will be running two courses concurrently: the first session (aimed at 9-14 year olds) will run from 6:30pm till 8pm and the second session (aimed at 14+ and adults) will be 8:15 till 9:45pm.
Dates for our September course are as follows: 6 September 13 September 20 September 27 September 4 October 11 October 18 October 25 October 1 November (Hall unavailable on 8 November) 15 November
Please note that all lessons are on Monday evenings and whilst we obviously would prefer beginners to attend every lesson, if you do miss an evening then 1 of our coaches will be able to catch-you up during the warm-up of the following session.
What You Need to Do
We are operating on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place you will need to do the following:
1) Complete a Membership Form
2) Arrange payment
3) Email us to confirm you’ve done these and let us know which class you would like to attend, 6:30-8pm or 8:15-9:45pm, or if you have no preference.
We’ll then confirm your place and a few days before the course starts send final details of what to bring, what to wear, etc.
If you don’t manage to book a place for September, don’t worry! We’ll be running three courses a year - January, Easter and April - so get in touch and we will reserve your spot.
We are allowed back indoors to play! This evening (7 July) is our first indoor session since March ‘20. The calendar will be updated soon but we are essentially back to normal with the exception of a few adjustments for Covid.
Please do familiarise yourself with Paul’s walkthrough of what to expect if you haven’t already.
Remember to bring your own sanitiser, come ready-changed, and stay at home if you feel unwell!
A week and a bit ago I asked you to remember to bring extra water to the footwork session due to the heat and humidity… this week, bring a cagoule!
We won’t be doing any sparring afterwards, however, if footballers and rugby players train in the rain, then so can we so the first hour of this evening’s session will go ahead as planned starting just after 7pm this evening. Please make sure you are dressed appropriately (waterproofs optional!) and make sure to fill out the Google Form in advance.
See some of you later, and let’s hope for nicer weather next week!
Virgile has an online system which allows our members to book a 1:1 lesson with him in advance.
His lessons are £12 for c.20 minutes and you can pay either at the time of booking or on the night. Click here to view the booking system; the link will be included in each calendar event.
Our calendar has been updated for the remaining outdoor sessions, taking place on 14, 21, 28 June and 5 July - before we look forward to resuming indoors on 7 July.
For these indoor sessions please book in advance via the calendar. This will be accessible by the front page (below where you’re reading this) but you can see all the calendar entries here.
Whilst we aren’t able to meet indoors at Reading Blue Coat School until Wednesday 7 July, in the meantime we will be able to meet outside on the multi-use courts – adjacent to the sports hall where we normally meet.
What you need to know:
- Initially the sessions will run from 7-8pm on Monday evenings;
- The first session will be on Monday 7 June and – subject to weather and attendance levels – will run weekly till our full return to indoor fencing on 7 July;
- Our first session will be a footwork session - so no contact fencing just yet - but the good news is that they will be open to all ages and, with the space available, we are extremely unlikely to need to limit attendance;
- We will look to introduce outdoor sparring as soon as possible (though this may be without the use of the electrics)
We will be taking this opportunity to welcome a new coach to RFC, Virgile Finet. Virgile is highly qualified, having learnt his trade in France; you can find out more about him here.
The footwork sessions should prove to be an ideal warm-up for the weeks ahead, and also provide a welcome chance for some social interaction.
Paul, our Covid Officer, has kindly adjusted his walkthrough for the evenings so please familiarise yourself with this - click here. Crucially, you will need to:
- Familiarise yourself with the walkthrough;
- Confirm your attendance by filling out the pre-session survey:
- this can be done on (but preferably before) the night, and will be published on the website every Thursday morning;
- click here for the one for Monday 7 June;
- Bring your own hand sanitiser;
- Stay at home if you or a household member have suspected Covid-19 symptoms (full guidance can be found here).
We hope to see you over these sessions. For now, enjoy the rest of your week and the Bank Holiday weekend, and if you have any questions or concerns please do get in touch.
As you may recall the Club’s venue, Reading Blue Coat School, remains closed to external hires until the end of October half term at the very earliest.
Meanwhile fencing has resumed in less than half of clubs across the country – unfortunately with some in the other half folding altogether. For Clubs that have re-opened there are strict restrictions in place in a number of areas of operation including social distancing, group sizes of no more than six, track and trace, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitisation and cleaning of equipment.
Given these restrictions, and the ongoing uncertainties with Covid-19 more generally, the Club committee has taken the difficult decision to continue our hiatus until January 2021.
Colin, our Treasurer, will continue to issue membership subscription refunds.
We’re keen to return to fencing and will reconvene as a committee at the end of November to resume discussions with RBCS and update you again; in the meantime, please do try to stay fit and healthy and you can check British Fencing’s website and its Activity Finder for upcoming live stream events and podcasts.
We have recently been informed that the sports hall at Reading Blue Coats School will be unavailable for hire during the summer period.
Unfortunately the Club will therefore not reconvene until September at the earliest; we are keeping abreast of British Fencing’s guidance on resuming activities and will revisit this as summer nears its end and communicate with members again nearer the time - hopefully with better news!
We are conscious that this remains a difficult time for many. Colin our Treasurer has been reversing any subscription payments made by PayPal since lockdown began, but as a reminder if you are due a refund for subs then please do contact us - if you usually pay by Standing Order, Colin will need to know your bank details (account number and sort code) in order to do the honours.
In the meantime, as a reminder the BFA have a calendar of online training - click here to view it and keep your skills ticking over.
We will hope to (virtually) see you at our AGM on Wednesday 29 July.
We are waiting to hear from Reading Blue Coat School as to when the hall will be available for us to hire again and, in the meantime, the Club committee is working to ensure that everything is in place when the time does come.
In the meantime, usually we hold our Annual General Meeting in mid-June but clearly events have meant that this has not been possible. Therefore we would like to notify you that we will be holding the meeting virtually, via Zoom, at 7:30pm on Wednesday 29 July.
All Club members should have received the meeting details already by email, but if you haven’t then please contact us and we will re-send.