Fencing

Includes: fencing, indoor, outdoor, land, Indoors, Outdoors, Sports

Activity time:
1 meeting

Age:
5+

Cost:
Medium
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Modern day swordplay

Fencing is tactical - how can you protect yourself at the same time as scoring a touch on your opponent with your sword? It develops coordination, flexibility, balance and concentration, as well as being great exercise!

Overview

Fencing is a form of sword fighting in which the objective is to touch your opponent with the blunted tip of the sword. The person with the most hits is the winner.

To take girls fencing you could find a local fencing club with suitably qualified instructors. Find a list of local clubs and instructors on the British Fencing website. Or a volunteer with a British Fencing Core Coach qualification could run a taster session for your group with foam and plastic equipment. 

Fencing is an adventurous activity and should follow the adventurous activity policy and procedures.

Approved: 5 May 2021
Version: 1.0

Content owner: Adventure team

Planning checklist

Safety notes

You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements:

AALA and LotC are not applicable in Northern Ireland, but Sport Northern Ireland confirm the Adventuremark is a suitable adventure activity accreditation scheme for activity providers in Northern Ireland or ask your local outdoor activities adviser to recommend an approved provider.

If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity, follow these extra steps.

In your unit meeting place

  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed. Make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose. Check the equipment is suitably insured and confirm what would happen if there was any damage. 
  • Check you hold the relevant qualification, if one is needed, to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.

At an external venue

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know about any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your commissioner.
  • Check you hold the relevant qualification (if one is needed) to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the needs of your group.
  • Get any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.
  • Ask for a copy of the venue's safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Consider the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions and plan the session accordingly.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

If you're working with an external provider or external instructors to run this activity, follow these extra steps.

In your unit meeting place

  • Check the guidance for having an external visitor at your unit.
  • Inform the external qualified adult of the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity that isn't being provided by the external qualified adult, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check any equipment you source or borrow is suitably insured and confirm what would happen if there was damage to the equipment. 

At an external venue

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your local commissioner.
  • Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable).
  • Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
  • Get copies of the instructor qualifications and public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the requirements for your group.
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

Instructors for this activity should hold a British Fencing (BF) core coach qualification.

The instructor should also be a member of the BF or British Academy of Fencing (BAF) and have the appropriate level of experience to lead the group safely and effectively.

If you are fencing at a commercial activity centre, instructors may not be BF-affiliated. Where this is the case, you must check that they've had in-house training and are suitably skilled to lead the age group taking part.

All equipment must conform to the safety requirements laid down by the British Fencing Association. The instructor must check the condition of the equipment at the beginning of each session.

Leaders should check the area of play is large enough, free of all trip hazards and, if outside, not steeply sloping.

Activity ratios

The ratios below are given as a maximum and ratios must be considered as part of the risk assessment, this may lessen due to any medical conditions, physical ability or other factors.

Leadership team ratio

If this activity will take place outside of your usual meeting place, the leadership team adult to child ratio is mandatory.

  • Rainbows: 1:5, at least 2 adults
  • Brownies: 1:8
  • Guides: 1:12
  • Rangers: N/A – with leader permission

Qualified adult/participant ratio

The qualified adult should determine what size of group is safe. There must be enough qualified adults to ensure the safety of all participants.

This will be determined by any limitations placed on their qualification or permit, or by the rules of their operating organisation as well as the risk assessment. It should taken into consideration the location, weather and experience of both the qualified adult and other participants. This risk assessment should be assessed by the leader and any concerns raised to the qualified adult.

Forms

  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities

Girlguiding activity centres for fencing

Photo of Foxlease

Foxlease

Сontact information

Photo of Waddow Hall

Waddow Hall

Сontact information