Fencers will be selected by the Future Trailblazers selection committee/Fencing Ireland Junior Development Committee to represent Ireland at international competitions. This will be based on the stage of a fencer within the development programme and their skill set.

Selection to EFC and FIE competitions will be countersigned by the main Fencing Ireland Selection Committee, in accordance with the Selection Policy outlined elsewhere on this website.

To represent one’s country should be seen as a privilege, rather than an automatic right. 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.

A coach will accompany only the competitors selected by Future Trailblazers Selection Committee / Fencing Ireland Junior Development Committee and will only have responsibility for the fencers while they are on piste.

Any parent intending on bringing their child to a competition overseas should first consult the coaches, in order to ensure that the competition is appropriate to the skill set and age of the fencer. Any fencer who chooses to attend an overseas competition without selection may not represent Ireland at the event, but may do so under their club name.

It is recognised that there is a considerable financial commitment required of parents of young fencers who wish to successfully gain international representation. Fencing Ireland will look to create initiatives to support fencers selected from the Future Trailblazers development
programme. Candidates may only receive support from one fencing body within the 32 counties.
NB. It will generally not be possible to participate in all of the competitions listed for each stage in the same year.

Fencers should plan their competition program in consultation with their coach and the Future Trailblazers selection committee, choosing the competitions best suited to their level of development and their short and medium term goals.


Stage 1

Age category: fencer under 12 years of age.
Recommended duration of this stage: 1 to 3 years
Focus on:

  • All appropriate age-group and school competitions within the 32 counties (U10, U12, U14, U17, U20).

  • Stage 2

    Age category: fencer under 14 years of age in the first year of the program.
    Recommended duration of this stage: 1 to 3 years
    Focus on: national competitions, including

    • All appropriate age-group and school competitions within the 32 counties (U14, U17, U20).
    • Participate in a Fencing Ireland approved 1-2 week international training/competition tour
    • Focus on ‘introduction’ to international fencing
    • 1-2 international competitions (no Junior World Cups) – if selected

    Stage 3

    Age category: fencer turning at least 15 years of age in the first year of the program.
    Recommended duration of this stage: 1 to 5 years
    Focus on: national & international competitions, including

    • Majority of national competitions, including Nationals (senior & age-group)
    • All appropriate age-group and school competitions within the 32 counties (U17, U20).
    • All Fencing Ireland senior National Circuit competitions
    • Appropriate age-group Cadet/Junior World Championships – if selected
    • Participate in at least one Fencing Ireland approved 1-2 week international training/competition tour
    • 3-4 international competitions – if selected

    The achievement of success on the world stage requires a program of staged competitive success in order to breach this gap. The most advanced and successful junior/cadet fencers may qualify and/or be selected to represent Ireland in senior international events. Such fencers are expected to be the exceptions, rather than the rule.


    Competition Event Categories

    To help guide parents and fencers as to the type of events targeted, the Junior Development Committee has broken down international events into categories that parallel the programme Stages.

    Category & Stage Events
    Category 1
    Stages 1 & 2
    – Pembroke Youth Series: Lord Killanin Cup, Excalibur Cup, Irish Youth Championships
    – NI Junior Foil Series: Rounds 1-6
    – age-group National Championships
    Category 2
    Stage 2
    – Marburg City Championships (épée/foil)
    – Malmö Open (foil)
    – selected UK circuit events
    Category 3
    Stages 2 & 3
    – senior National Circuit events – min. 2
    – EFC U14 Circuit
    – Challenge Wratislavia
    – CEP Marathon Paris (foil)
    – Poznan Fencing Festival (foil)
    Satellites
    Stage 3
    – EFC Cadet Circuit
    – European Cadet Championships and World Cadet Championships
    – Junior World Cup
    – European Junior Championships and World Junior Championships
    – FIE Satellite World Cups