National Squad Overview
The National Squad and its High Performance Program (HPP) are designed to optimize and support athlete performance.
National Squad Members participate in the High Performance Program and have priority for selection to represent Australia.
The High Performance Program allows athletes to work together with the HPC, the National Coaching Team, the National Technical Director for each weapon, and provides access to a range of resources across technical, physical, strategic, mindset, and other areas.
Information regarding the HPP can be found on the Australian Fencing Federation website here.
In particular information regarding the HPP is set out in the High Performance Program Outline document. This addresses the following:
- Overview of the program
- National Squad Process
- National Squad Member expectations
- National Squad High Performance Program Scope
- National Squad – Development Pathways for different ages
An athlete may also view the draft National Squad Calendar here.
For the cycle of 2021/2022, athletes have limited obligations but are encouraged to optimize their training through the development of a supporting High Performance Program Plan. At a minimum, athletes need to attend one state squad per week where applicable, as well short camps held in their city of residence, and one in another city, i.e., Canberra. There are no obligations, this cycle, with regards to competitions. Athletes will work together with the HPC, the National Technical Director, to agree a plan suitable for them, utilizing the HPP resources. This will be known as the High Performance Program Plan. Though not including binding commitments for the HPP Plan, athletes are expected to adhere to the Athlete Agreement and to make best endeavours with the HPP Plan and to meet the expectations in Section 3 of the National Squad High Performance Program Outline. Athletes are obliged to adhere to various AFF policies published on the AFF website (www.ausfencing.org) and amended from time to time.
After selection on the National Squad, the fencer will meet together with National Technical Director, other key figures (personal coach if applicable) and the HPC to help them determine their competition aims, international travel, training program and structure, identify challenges and needed support. This takes into account the reality of their situation and sets them up in the right direction with support. This information will be recorded, updated and refined throughout the cycle.
National Squad Nomination and Implementation
Selection Priority for National Squad Members
Being a National Squad Member means you are eligible to be selected to represent Australia in International Events. Some events are only open to National Squad Members, and for other events National Squad Members have priority in selection.
From November 1, 2021 the amended Selection Policy will take effect, and from February 3, 2022 the Rankings Policy will also take effect. In essence these changes will substantially affect cadet, junior, and senior categories as follows:
- Selection for International Championships (Asian Championships, World Championships, Commonwealth Championships, Asian Games, and other nominated championships) will be made from National Squad Members.
- Selection for HPC Designated Events will be made from National Squad Members.
- Selection for International Event (Non-Designated) are on a priority basis for National Squad Members but are also open to athletes who are not National Squad Members on a non-priority basis.
- Selection for International Events (Other) is on a priority basis for National Squad Members but is thereafter open to athletes who are not National Squad Members on a non-priority basis.
The above summary is for information only. All selections are done in accordance with the AFF Selection Policy and Rankings Policy.
Performance Thresholds and Minimum Points
The AFF has determined to set aside performance thresholds and minimum points for this coming season of 2021/2022, due to the impact of COVID restrictions on fencers, and reduced access to competitions. Thresholds for 2023 will be reintroduced and communicated prior to the opening of nominations for that season.
National Squad Youth Category
Involvement in the National Squad is an important development pathway for young fencers connecting them with the National Squad Infrastructure – the High Performance Commission, the National Technical Director, the National Coaching Team, the broader National Squad, which allows fencers to benefit from a consistent education stream, technical pathway, opportunities for training through multiple camps, and to develop a guided and structured approach to fencing development.
Importantly, National Squad Youth Category fencers will not be eligible for selection in any of the older categories (cadet, junior, senior) while they remain members of the National Squad Youth Category. If a fencer wishes to be eligible for selection in other age categories, then that fencer must either (a) at the beginning of the nomination cycle, nominate for the National Squad Member (Adult) or transfer to this category at least ten (10) days prior to selection for any particular event and have paid in full the amount owing for the National Squad Member (Adult) as if they had nominated for National Squad Member (Adult) at the beginning of the nomination cycle.
Nomination and Pricing
Nominations are open from September 27 2021 until October 12 2021, via the AFF website:
Athletes should review the National Squad High Performance Program Outline document together with the Athlete Agreement in determining their suitability. The HPC can answer queries or provide clarification if needed. Contact details are below.
Athletes wishing to nominate for Cadet, Junior, or Senior category should nominate under the National Squad Member (Adult) category, which is the formal name given to these ages. Athletes wishing to join the National Squad Youth Category may do so.
The following annual fees apply and allow the AFF deliver a High Performance Program to National Squad Members.
National Squad Member – (Adult) $1550 (excluding GST)
National Squad Member – Youth $580 (excluding GST)
If an athlete transfers from the National Squad Member (Youth) to the National Squad Member (Adult) program the following difference will be payable – $960 (excluding GST).
Domestic Competitions, Rankings, and Selection for International Representation
Please see the AFF’s recent announcements regarding the remaining 2021 Competition Calendar and ranking points, and selection for 2022 international events.
The High Performance Commission will be hosting an information session shortly. We can also be contacted at [email protected].