Calendar changes, fees suspended and new online resources
The AFF Board convened for its regular monthly teleconference this past weekend to address an agenda shaped largely by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Board considered the tightened restrictions around interstate and international travel, limitations on social gatherings and the likely time period these will be in effect. The Board also weighed the financial position of the organisation against the impact of job losses on fencers and families.
Considering these current circumstances, the Board has taken the following decisions:
All future AFF competitions, camps and tours are suspended until further notice.
High Performance Program fees
A moratorium on monthly HPP fees payable will come into effect from 1st April 2020. The suspension on fees will be assessed monthly. Nominations for future HPP rounds will not open until there is more clarity around international competition schedules.
The High Performance Commission has established an online platform using Google Classroom and is working with the national coaches to provide online resources for HPP athletes to access while in isolation.
The classroom includes technical videos, mental wellness information, nutritional advice and strength and conditioning regimens.
The online classroom will be expanded to include resources for coaches and referees and made available to a wider community over time.
Athletes on the HPP program will be contacted with more information on how to access the AFF Google Classroom.
The Board is still assessing the impact on national rankings of a suspended competition calendar and has not formed a position at this time.
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting, previously scheduled for 24th May 2020, has been postponed pending further discussion with member states. This decision is permitted under new guidelines issued by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
The International Olympic Committee has announced new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games: 23rd July – 8th August 2021.
As outlined in this earlier article on Australian Fencing’s hopes for these Games, Australia’s remaining pathway is through the Asian Zone qualifying event. That tournament has been postponed and current restrictions on international travel limit tournament options for the foreseeable future.
The AFF Board is in regular contact with the Fencing Confederation of Asia and will notify the Australian fencing community once an alternative qualification event has been decided.
Social fencing and private lessons
The Board noted the closure of sports and community facilities and requirements for social distancing mandated by the Federal Government dictate there should be NO FENCING IN AUSTRALIA UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.