Blind fencing…?!


The Club recently had an enquiry from a lady called Claire who asked about coming to a taster session, which is not that unusual. But what made this enquiry stand out is that Claire is severely visually impaired.

This was a first for us and so resulted in some scratched heads around the committee as to how this could possibly work. But after a conversation with Coach Andy, we invited Claire along for a chat to see how we could facilitate her request.

A few weeks ago Claire came to the club and was shown around by JD & Simon. First we had to establish just how much Claire could actually see. After this we showed her all the kit that would be needed & also pointed out the possible hazards that she might encounter (eg wires and spools / scoring boxes on the floor)

We then introduced her to Coach Andy who had researched blind fencing & discovered that there is a well established set up in America & how it works. As it turns out blind fencing is all done by blade contact & using the different sounds that different parts of the blade makes to establish distance & parry-ripostes.

Claire tried out a mask, glove & foil to see how she felt about it – and she took to it like a duck to water. It is fair to say that if she has a few one to one lessons with Andy we think that Claire could be challenging us all on the piste once we have donned a blindfold to even the score.

We are looking forward to having Claire back in the coming weeks.

Epee Night date changes and Foil Coach news


Please note that Epee night this week has now moved to the following Thursday, 25th July.

Also, for August and September only, Epee night will be on the 4th Thursday of the month – so that’s 22nd August and 26th Sept.

It will revert to the usual 3rd Thursday of the month in October (24.10).

In Foil news, we are delighted to announce the return of Laura Delany as our foil coach for the next two weeks – 18th & 25th July – while Andy Doherty takes a well-earned break.

Laura brings a wealth of experience as a Level 4 foil coach • Over 19yrs fencing experience • 4 British Youth Championship titles • GB team member at Cadet World Championships.

Please join us in giving Laura a warm welcome back to SAFC.

New club league starts this week….!! and ‘Adopt a Beginner’

This week, Thurs 11.07 we are starting a NEW CLUB LEAGUE
It’s in a new format this time – a Poule Unique – so everybody gets the chance to fence everyone else in the club; once over the period to the end of Sept, in any weapon you fancy.
There will also be a novices league running at the same time using the same format.  Novices can of course enter the main league as well, if they wish.
So whether you fence religiously every week or miss the odd session or two, you have plenty of time to complete your matches.  Bouts are up to 10 points so there is a lot of fencing to be done.
We’ll explain more at practice tomorrow as we get underway, but if you have any questions just ask!

Please Adopt a Beginner – Our current and recent Beginners are getting keen to fence!

Do make a point of saying hello,  keep an eye open for anyone looking like they need help and offer to give them a bout – steam or electric, they’ll be glad of the experience and who knows you might even make a friend – we are a friendly club and we were all beginners once…!

Some housekeeping:  as mentioned last week we have a new e-sign-in procedure.
Please visit the ipad/tablet on the table and sign in on arrival, *not later*
Please also remember to pay the correct amount – the club is run by volunteers and having to check and/or chase up payment takes valuable time.

British Fencing Membership is essential for everyone who wishes to fence with us – so please ensure yours is current.  Our new e-sign-in will soon include visitors having to enter a BF valid Membership Number, so please come prepared to avoid disappointment.

Also please remember that as we head towards the summer, if you fence at a club which closes for the holidays, we are still open, and members of Watford, Luton, Hitchin, Bedford and Welwyn & Hatfield can at Fence for a £iver at SAFC.
See you at  practice tomorrow, remember to stay hydrated…!!

PS: Given the warm weather, we’ll probably do a quick warm-up and then get on with the start of the league, so please can everyone help with getting out ALL the electric pistes at the start of the evening, to maximise fencing time.  Also please help with putting them away at the end of the night.

SAFC goes digital, Insurance Reminder, T-shirts and new Club League



Welcome to the future – New sign in system at the Club

We’re trailing a new sign in system at the club – Electronic sign in via an iPad  / tablet at the door.

Hopefully self explanatory, but if it’s not clear as you arrive, do ask someone.

The club is wholly run by volunteers and we’re dependant on members helping by signing in and paying in a timely way. This sign in system should make it simpler for you and help us keep track of where we are.

The system is at an early stage so there are prizes for finding and reporting ways we can improve it.


Please remember that all fencers must have current British Fencing membership.

Without this, you are not insured and therefore you cannot fence at the club.

As part of our new e-sign-in we will soon be requiring fencers to input their BF Membership No.

No BF Membership = No fencing @ SAFC.

Sorry, but as a club we have to protect everyone that fences with us.


Club Armourer Bird is needing a new T Shirt and about to order – does anyone else need one for themselves – or for a loved one?

It helps the club if we can order in groups of 10 or more, so please take a look at and place your order now.


Starting next week we hope to have a new club league up and running.

It’s quite a departure from how we’ve run it before – more details to follow soon – watch this space

See you at practice tonight – it’s going to be a hot one so make sure you stay well hydrated.

There will be a post fencing rehydration session at the White Hart Tap afterwards, all welcome