This page shows a list of frequently-asked questions for coaches, fencers, and parents.


  • How can my child access the Future Trailblazers programme?

    Entry to Future Trailblazers is by invitation only. Your child should be nominated by his/her coach, based on which he/she will be assessed by the Future Trailblazers selectors.

  • I’m a coach and I’d like to work with Future Trailblazers. Who can I contact for further information?

    Contact a member of the Junior Development Committee (see Committee page for details) or one of the nominated coaches listed in the outline.

  • How do I qualify for selection?

    Selection is based on the following criteria:

    – completion of fencing certifications/achievement awards
    – competition results within the 32 counties
    – written and signed nomination by club coach with reasoning behind nomination and open to query by the Fencing Ireland selection committee

    Based on your skill-set and age you will then be assigned to the appropriate stage of the programme.

  • How are the stages determined?
    Whilst the stage a fencer is at is predominantly based on performance, indicative ages have been included for the programme.
  • Who carries out the assessment?
    Fencing assessment is by the coach selection team. The fencer’s own club coach will not participate assessment of his/her own nominees.
  • How often is Future Trailblazers training held?
    Approximately every 8 weeks. Dates will appear on the Youth Calendar and participants will be invited via email.
  • How important is attending competition?
    Competition is one element of this developmental process. The level of competition must be appropriate to the age and development of fencers. A progression of competitive experiences should be in line with the stages identified in the Future Trailblazers model.
  • How will I know which competitions to enter?
    The Future Trailblazers Selection Committee / Fencing Ireland Junior Development Committee will ensure that participation opportunities are coordinated and appropriate for the age and development of the young participant.

    Any fencer who chooses to attend an overseas competition without selection by the committee may not claim to represent Ireland at the event, but they may enter under their club name.

  • I’m already representing Ireland at cadet or junior level. How does Future Trailblazers affect me?
    This is a development programme aimed at creating a pipeline of young fencers, who may achieve international success. The programme is made up of specific training days and other initiatives that are aimed at improving fencer’s skills.
  • I’m an Irish fencer living outside the country. Does this mean I can no longer be selected for Ireland?
    Any fencer under 20 can be nominated to the development programme and will be offered the opportunity to attend training days etc. Attendance and entry to competitions is only part of the development programme. To be part of the programme you must be nominated by your club coach (this can also be an overseas club). You will then be assessed for eligibility.

    Fencers will be selected by the Future Trailblazers selection committee/Fencing Ireland Junior Development Committee to represent Ireland at international competitions. Selection to EFC and FIE competitions will then be countersigned by the Fencing Ireland Selectors Committee.