University College London Union Fencing Club
Annual General Meeting
15th March 2006
1. Apologies for Absence
1.1 Valerian Langton, Fabian Wong.
2. Attendance List
3.1 Club Epée, Foil, Sabre Competition today.
3.2 Club Novice Competition on 22nd of March.
3.3 Final social of the year at Sportsnite on 22nd of March.
3.4 Sports Ball on 23rd of March.
3.5 Alumni Dinner and social on 24th of March.
3.6 Ireland Tour in April.
rdth3.7 London International Universities Fencing Cup on 3/4 of June.
4. Minutes of the Last Meeting
5. Matters Arising
5.1 Volunteers for LIUF. Please email the club’s email if you are
5.2 Kit Amnesty and Sale. Please return kit next week. Sale date to be
6. Committee Agenda Items
6.1 None received.
7. Members Agenda Items
7.1 None received.
8. Ratification of Club Constitution
8.1 The Club Constitution was ratified by a majority vote.
9. Officer Reports (Attached)
9.1 President - Jules Mazowiecki
9.2 Treasurer - Edward Bennett
9.3 Women’s Captain - Ruth Lamb
9.4 Men’s Captain - George Perrett
9.5 Novice Captain - James Dorricott
9.6 Social Secretary - Ruth Lamb
10. Committee Elections
10.1 President - Jules Mazowiecki elected by a majority.
10.2 Treasurer - Edward Bennett elected by a majority.
10.3 Women’s Captain - Ruth Lamb elected by a majority.
10.4 Men’s 1st Captain - Valerian Langton elected by a majority.
10.5 Men’s 2nd Captain - Matt Mazowiecki elected by a majority.
10.6 Novice Captain - Alex Karski elected by a majority.
10.7 Social Secretary - Abi Knight elected by a majority.
11.1 There were none.
George Mitchell, Secretary
President (Jules Mazowiecki)
This year has been a tremendous year for the Club. When elected President I set out to transform the way the Club is run, indeed the very way the Club exists. Getting off to a bumpy start this year with regards to preparation for Freshers Fayre - I only got back from working in the USA late in September - and during the event itself when I was sick in bed with a Fresher, my plans were soon rapidly put into motion. In my dual role as an Officer of the Union, I managed to exert considerable political pressure on the powers that be from the start. I also made a considerable effort to formalise the Club's modus operandi. Regular weekly meetings were now the order of
the day (or week rather), with constant reports on progress on tasks. I had compiled a huge list of objectives to achieve and one by one I have ticked them off thanks to my fellow Committee members. These included breaking the record of membership (currently 75), creating new tours from our previous two, establishing a third weekly training session, expanding LIUF's international appeal, creating an Alumni network, raising our Sportsnite profile to that of the "Big 5", re-launching a new website, compiling an inventory, investing in heaps of top quality equipment for our 50-odd novices and, most importantly creating a legacy for future Committees, in the form of a massive archive of relevant documents, forms, photos and such like to make running the Club in future years easy. The Club is now one of the best run clubs in UCL and one of the best run university fencing clubs in Britain. I'm not bullshitting either.
Admittedly there is room for improvement - there always is, if, like me, you believe in Kaizen (continuous improvement). Our socials, whilst vastly
larger than last term (or even last year) could still be more gender balanced. Our profile in the UCL community has been raised, but not enough. Our website needs more content. The Men's and Women's Team could emulate the success of the Novice Team in keeping up team spirit both on and off the piste. The archive of stuff and the creation of a community of present and ex members need to be firmly established. But these are tasks for the near future. This year a LOT has happened in the Club and the Committee and I have done our best to make this Club bigger and better. I won't go into the details of finance, teams, tours and socials, because then my lieutenants won't have anything to say, so I'll just leave things by commenting this truly has been a revolutionary year. Ask anyone who's been here for a few years.
Treasurer (Ed Bennett)
In line with the updating of our equipment this year, the role of the Fencing Club Treasurer has really been twofold. Firstly, it involved managing all the club’s finances during an extensive kit overall to be continued next year. Secondly, it has involved investigating possibilities of sponsorship, particularly thfor the 10 anniversary LIUF competition. The only financial transaction
carried out on behalf of the club this year not specifically involving the two
accounts of the club, have been the design, ordering and purchasing of our
highly successful and ultra fashionable hoodies.
Searching for potential sponsors really got underway in January 2006.
This was uncharted territory for the club. What has been learnt for next years
Treasurer is that whilst there were at least 5 companies (inc KPMG and PWC)
who were willing to sponsor us, it wasn’t possible for them to do so this year.
They are keen to do so next year and we have the relevant contacts to pursue
them in Sept 2006. It has been a predominantly groundwork setting approach
this season – I am confident of lots of sponsor’s cash for the club next year.
I’ve really enjoyed being Treasurer this year and working with everyone
both on the committee and in the wider club members. Your enthusiasm has
been positively infective! Thanks to everyone!
Social Secretary (Ruth Lamb)
Social secretary is possibly one of the best positions in the club, - in
terms of getting to know everyone and having an excuse for and socialising –
this was certainly the case last year when I came to the club – and it was
indeed how I came to get to know old the older kids so fast, however – I
strongly believe this is why the position is best suited to a beginner and why I
will no longer be running for social secretary, Overall this year was a little
slower getting to know each other – ad didn’t gel so quickly as the last year –
perhaps because I was no longer a beginner – it was a little bit more of an effort to try and entice the beginners (who are all a little shy at first) out, in
addition many of the socials that I have organised I could not myself attend
being in my final year. Booooo to me! However, the seed had been sown, and
it’s nice to see that the socials are becoming very much a regular thing, and,
in addition we’ve managed to keep up the age old tradition of a greasy
breakfast in the Euro café.
One of the biggest tasks this year for me was designing and
constructing the website from scratch – we haven’t had one for the past couple of years and our website designer never materialised – which was how
I came across the position. From its skeletal form in November - It now holds
a fair bit of information and many photos. As always the website is a very
plastic thing so if you’ve got any photos etc or blogs that you would like
posting – then copy them onto a disk etc – or email them to me and I will endeavour to find the time to upload them. Hopefully the website will continue
to be maintained in the following years – so I can feel like I have made some sort of lasting contribution to the club!
Women's Captain (Ruth Lamb)
The role of captain is always challenging, and this year has been
particularly difficult for the women’s team – far more so than previous years. This is mainly due the (and the men might back me up here) severe lack of
females in the club. Indeed, many of our extremely talented female fencers of
whom did the club so proud in previous years graduated, leaving us behind like orphaned children. Mere beginners facing the big time that is BUSA.
On top of organising matches, venues, accommodation and a team
that comprises at least 3 women, one of the greatest challenges of being a captain is realising the bitchiness and sheer foul play that litters the premier league -and that’s before the matches have even been played! They say: ‘if
you can’t beat them, join them’ and next year you will be pleased to hear that I
intend to wholly embrace my club nick name (queen bitch).
On the bright side I believe we have possibly had more fun than we could have ever imagined – each of us picking up weapons that we have had
no experience with before and managing to hold our own against experienced fencers, and, in addition each of us introduced to weapons (albeit kicking and screaming) that we might never have before considered taking up.
The dynamics of UCLU fencing club is such that it encourages
confidence from the start - beginners are dropped in the ‘deep end’ very early
on in - attending competitions across the world, and I am in no doubt that this years beginners have benefited greatly from such opportunities. Being only beginners here ourselves a few years back I continue to be extremely proud of what our team have achieved against people that have been fencing before they could crawl. Such achievements can only fuel my hope for the future of the women’s team.
Men's Captain (George Perrett)
The year has been a success in the respect that we have managed to maintain our highly coveted position in the premiere league. We have had five new fencers compete on the team this year - 3 freshers (Valerian, Alex, Matt) and two final year students (Seb, Mayowa). Due to the highly busy schedules of some of the university’s top fencers we have fallen short of our potential. We did manage, however, to finish the season ranked inside the top 8 British Universities, after losing the Quarter Final against Bristol. There have also been some excellent individual performances at various stages throughout the season. Well done team! Finally, the team will sorely miss Fabian (6 years), Andy (4 years), Seb and Mayowa, who are all finishing UCL.
Novice Captain (James Dorricott)
As Novice Captain my task has been to organise friendly matches with other university fencing clubs in London. As none had been organised primarily for novices in previous years the clubs at other universities had to be contacted but out of all the clubs contacted in London only ULU and Kings replied. Both of them were interested in the idea of establishing a novice competition with our UCL club with the possibility that the fixture may become permanent and more competitive in future years.
Unfortunately Kings have not yet been able to field a novice team but on 9/02 a team from ULU met a much larger team from UCL in the Mandela
Studio of the Bloomsbury Gym for the first of hopefully many friendlies. UCL's novices showed superior skill and great confidence, especially considering most had less than 6 months fencing experience, to sweep aside ULU's resistance to win resoundingly.
This followed promising home and away performances against
Edinburgh's novices in January when UCL's novices were narrowly beaten. The novice team has now shaped itself into one of the largest and best around which promises to bode well for the club as a whole in the future.
For LIUF 2006 my task will be to organise the purchasing of winners medals and trophies in advance of the competition itself. I will also be present at LIUF to aid with organising and setting up the competition.