The Program (Brochure)
Ontario is implementing a new 5-year program for age groups Y8 to Y14 under the supervision of a Program Consultant.
For each age group, the Program consultant establishes baseline skills, defined goals, expectations of technical, tactical and psychological skills, compatible with LTAD.
Participating athletes and clubs are asked to ensure development along these lines. These follow the armband program, but with clear measurement of skills and performance goals. Early entry into the program achieves the maximum outcomes.
For age groups y8 to y14. Maximum of 16 athletes per gender / weapon, per age y8, y10, y12, y14 (96 in total)
Development expectations, metrics and goals are set for each age group Goals and will be progressive: an athlete entering the sport in y10 will see uniform and increasing development towards the goals of the program.
The Y14 development group is used for Ontario Winter Games Qualification during OWG years, with regional placements
Four mandatory, FREE competitions held across Ontario These competitions will provide rankings.
One mandatory FREE camp in the midpoint of the cycle. This camp will have elite athletes/ Olympians in attendance and will be led by the Program Consultant and director/designated coaches. Club coaches may use them as opportunities to teach, reinforce and discuss development skills.
Top three athletes at the end of the cycle will have the opportunity to attend an international camp, fully or partially funded by the program. These athletes will be designated Team Ontario Athletes.
Success as determined by the program consultants in other non-required competitions (eg designated national, SYC, NAC) will have some (or all) of registration fees returned as reward for achieving development goals.
$500 per athlete per year. Please register here.
Program Consultants: Ralf Bissdorf of Concord, MA (foil and sabre)
Maxime Brinck-Croteau (epee)
Program Directors: Darren Marks, Stratford, ON (foil); Maxime Brinck-Croteau
- What is the reward for joining the program?
The YDP is designed to work as a training cadre so that a group of athletes would regularly train with peers and develop appropriately in a balance of near and contemporary skills in an environment that reduces the stress of competitions and give feedback on development needs. As a cadre, the athletes support each other, build friendships and trust and this proves to add value to enjoyment and longevity in sport as well as creates future success.
- How do the free tournaments work?
The YDP directors determine which events will work as tournaments, depending on the competition cycle. Some tournaments stand alone for only the members of the program and follow a more intense bouting format designed to give maximum bouting while others are placed in the context of a more usual tournament with one poule and DEs. In 2019-20, the March Toronto International tournament will be one tournament following a more traditional format. In the case of traditional tournaments, the YDP covers one event cost but not any registration fees set independent by the organizers.
- How does the camp function?
The camp will be led by Ralf Bissdorf, the program directors and guest coaches/athletes. We will not only have local high-level fencers (e.g. national team or Olympians) from Canada as bouting partners but will bring in some internationally renown athletes as well. Stay tuned
The camp is only for the athletes in the program.
- There is a limit to the number of athletes per age per weapon. Why is this, and can I join the program midway?
Each year the provincial rankings will be used to determine entrance to the maximum number. The number reflects the program’s ability to provide the content and to keep costs reasonable. Once the maximum is hit, entrance is not possible unless there is a space. In the case of late admission, full fees are expected as the program channels costs back to the athletes themselves in terms of Team Ontario and incentives outside of Ontario.
- My Coach is worried that I may learn something different than our way, is this a problem?
The program follows the LTAD expectations for each age, and each coach in Ontario is expected to follow those guidelines. However, the focus on tactical, mental and technical skills as well as bouting experience is universal and no athlete should find the discussions in variance with home club emphasis.
- What is Team Ontario?
Each age group will have a ranking system based on the tournaments and camp that will rank athletes. The top 3 in each age group will be named Team Ontario just like an all-star team in other sports. Those athletes will be given the opportunity to attend, partially funded by the program itself, an international camp with designated coaches to build on the experience of representing your province.
The funding will be determined by the number of athletes and sponsorship in the program and will vary accordingly. The program will find the camp, negotiate prices and travel costs, and report to the athletes as soon as possible.
- How does the incentive program work?
Given that more exposure to different environments prepare athletes by feedback and experience, the more athletes venture into the broader fencing world, the better. The program will reward fencers who excel in those environments for LTAD appropriate stages and encourage all fencers to try at younger stages through a reimbursement program. Again, the level is dependent on the budget, the budget is dependent on enrolment and sponsors.
- What about the Ontario Winter Games?
The YPD program in years that there is an Ontario Winter Games will use the Y14 age category as its part of its qualification path. In other words, if you wish to qualify for the OWG, you need to be in the YDP.
- What about the Quest for Gold program?
The Quest for Gold program is a stand-alone program and is run separately by the OFA Technical Director. Athletes may be in the YDP and qualify for the Q4Gold program but they are not formally linked.
- I have questions?
Please contact the program director, Dr Darren Marks.