Having fulfilled your role in feeding, kit checking, and chauffeuring, your role at competition is to support your fencer through the stresses of the event without becoming too overwrought yourself. (Sometimes easier said than done!)
Establish an ongoing dialogue with the coach, they can help determine appropriate training and competition opportunities.
Try to let your child organise themselves, including using a kit checklist, checking in, listening for information, finding the right piste etc. Although the first few comps can seem complicated and confusing, it’s a good opportunity for them to learn to take responsibility.
Stand by, but don’t do it for them. It is impressive how quickly young fencers become adept at coping with competitions. Do be ready to step in and help with technical problems however – find out how to quickly change a bodywire and adjust a mask. (Come to one of our parent information sessions!)
Never interfere with the bout unless you see a safety hazard or a disconnected wire. Never EVER argue with the referee or become abusive. Stand well away from the referee at all times.
At the State Fencing Centre, everyone not fencing or refereeing should remain at the very end of the piste at all times.
Talk openly to your child about your role at competitions. Be prepared to keep your distance if they ask you to.
Do not coach during the bout – this is against the rules. You can cheer and provide encouragement between points. Avoid flash photography.
Provide unconditional emotional support as your fencer rides the ups and downs of competition experience and help them learn the lessons of winning and losing. Save critical discussion until calm prevails.
Provide plentiful supplies of food and drink at appropriate intervals. The longest break will normally be between the poule round and the DE.
We do not recommend sports drinks for fencing, water is usually sufficient. It is a good idea to ensure they drink many small sips of water before arriving at the competition so they start with good hydration.
After the competition or a hard training session, research surprisingly suggests that a Big M (flavoured milk) is an excellent recovery drink. Slurpees have been found to be just as effective as ice baths for hot weather recovery! So go ahead and treat them after their hard work.
Try your best to enjoy the event, and take the opportunity to find out more about the sport! Chances are you’ll find many other fencing parents by the piste to chat to, and if you wish to be more involved there are many opportunities to assist with running competitions. New volunteers are always welcome!
Have you entered? (For state competitions this is usually the Thursday before the comp)
Check the competition time and location
Get a good nights sleep
In your bag:
Fencing socks and shoes
2 Working Weapons (minimum!)
2 Working Bodywires
2 Working Maskwires
Full Water Bottle
At the Piste:
Make sure you are at your piste ready to fence when called.
Take your water bottle and spare equipment with you.
When they tell you that you are getting ready, it means you are next, so zip up your lamé and be ready!
Always salute your opponent and referee at the start and at the end of the bout.
It is polite to shake the referee’s hand after the poule round, and after each DE bout.
Before attending your first competition, make sure you are familiar with the codes of behaviour. You can download a copy from the club website.
Review the penalty chart, and get someone to explain how the poule sheet is used, and how the DE is set up, so that you understand when and where you will be fencing at the competition.