Collaboration At Its Finest: A New Joint Project

On Monday 18th September, British Fencing, Inspiring Learning and the International Physical Literacy Association convened in Doncaster for an initial meeting to discuss an exciting joint project.

In addition to strengthening the long-standing relationship between British Fencing and Inspiring Learning, our aim was to explore the impact of fencing in the areas of resilience and physical literacy.

“Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” – The International Physical Literacy Association

Noting the years of qualitative evidence and observations, it was agreed that fencing, particularly when delivered as part of a formal learning programme, is a distinct activity with a unique ability to introduce key personal development skills rooted in resilience. This was an obvious connection to We Are Forging Futures and our first flagship programme for the education sector, with which partners like Inspiring Learning would like to associate and learn more from.

There is a joint desire to use the expertise of Professor John Allan – respected academic in the field of resilience and staff member of Inspiring Learning – to start the process of creating a research project proposal. The aim of the project is to begin to formally quantify fencing’s impact as a tool to introduce and develop resilience and physical literacy.

We’ve seen first-hand that fencing has the unique ability to connect with those usually reluctant to take part in physical activity, and as children have an initial positive experience of fencing, they gain the motivation and confidence to try other sports. So, Inspiring Learning’s guests at their Kingswood sites are more likely to engage in other activities on site, as well as when they return back home and to school life.

Innately within fencing is the opportunity to pivot into the concept of resilience through active learning: a concept that We Are Forging Futures emphasises and that this research project aims to explore further.

Our place in the eco-system…

We Are Forging Futures and one of fencing’s places in the eco-system of PE, School Sport and Physical Activity is that of mass-activation: allowing the majority of people who are physically illiterate to move, sword in hand.

It is down to delivery partners and schools to recognise this opportunity to engage with this research project showing the positive impact of fencing. Other programmes, sports and activities can complement and enhance the journey of potential that We Are Forging Futures aims to initially unlock.

British Fencing staff member delivering training to a group of coaches

Find out how resilience can be introduced to your school or activity group...

Harry Brown is our National Partnership and Engagement Manager, and has the remit of talking to schools and other delivery partners about how we can support you in making fencing as inclusive, engaging and inspiring as it can be. Please do connect with him for for a virtual meeting to explore our programmes.

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