Maestro Pete Barrett

Lead Epee Coach

With over 50 years’ fencing experience and former coach for the Great Britain Junior team. Coach at Plymouth Fencing Club. The most successful epee fencing club in the South West of England. Devon Coach of the Year 2017. Coaching achievements include Junior World Cup gold and silver medals. Sydney 2000 Paralympics 3x gold medals. Numerous national medals at junior, senior and veteran levels

National Coach for Mens Great Britain U20 Epee Team from 1997



Our Coaches

Plymouth Fencing Club coaches are on the British Fencing coaching register and are bound by the British Fencing Code of Conduct. Our coaches have attended Safeguarding in Sport training, carry Enhanced DBS checks (available online), are First Aid qualified. As members of British Fencing they have public liability insurance.

Private coaching sessions – 121’s

Our coaches offer private 121 coaching sessions which are arranged with the individual coach. A 30 minute session costs £15 and is made payable to the coach. 121’s must be cancelled with 48 hours’ notice to give other athletes an opportunity. If notice is not given the session will be payable in full. If a fencer is having 121 coaching other fencers present must be mindful and respectful of the session. If at Plymouth College fencing salle only the coach and fencer are to be present in the salle during the allocated time – fencers and parents are to wait outside.



Travelling to tournaments

Plymouth Fencing Club is dedicated towards the competitive success of our athletes, to that end, Plymouth Fencing Club offers coaching at Regional, National and International Tournaments. We hope that the policies outlined below answer any questions about the role of the coaches of Plymouth Fencing at “away” tournaments:
One or more coaches may be in attendance at the National Cadet and Junior Championships, the British Youth Championships and the England Youth Championships at no additional cost to club members. Fencers are not required to have coaching at tournaments, this is a service available to all fencers when it is requested at some additional cost. Coaching is not automatic for a fencer, there must be a prior agreement for a fencer to receive coaching at an event. This may be an ongoing relationship agreed upon for the season, or a coach may be requested for one particular competition.
If a coach is travelling to a competition and multiple fencers are in attendance ALL fencers will be offered coaching prior to the event – we appreciate not all fencers want coaching support!
Plan ahead and communicate! Costs include travel and accommodation, naturally if coaching requests are made well in advance this will keep costs to a minimum. If there are multiple fencers at an event the cost can be shared.
Our coaches will coach fencers under the following conditions:
  • The fencer wants coaching during the event.
  • There is a coach available for the event the fencer is attending.
  • The fencer is willing to pay some or all of the costs associated with being coached at the event.
  • Plymouth Fencing Club competes united as a team.

At the competition:

It is the job of the coach to assist the fencer as much as possible, however, at some events there are many fencers competing at once. When that is the case, a coach must set priorities. For the fencer who is attending a tournament for their first time, coaching during the opening rounds can be important. More experienced fencers should not have any difficulty in the seeding pools, and will not need as much attention until later in the event. We will always try to make sure that a coach is available when the fencer needs it the most. Ultimately, that is the coaches’ decision to make, and we expect our fencers and parents to respect coach judgment. A coach will be at the venue at least an hour before the close of registration until the last fencer is eliminated that day. Warm-up lessons before the tournament begins are part of the duties as a coach. In addition, tournaments can stretch over several days and on those occasions training lessons can also be given.

Keep in mind what a coach can do during a tournament:

  • A tournament is the place where a coach has the least effect on the outcome. Every tournament is won in the six months to a year preceding the competition. It is in this time that the fencer mentally and physically prepares to perform at the top of their ability. If a fencer is not ready to compete at the required level for the tournament they have entered, having a coach at the tournament will do them little good. Please do not expect miracles from a coach, no matter how capable. If you have not been training two days a week in the months preceding the event, it is difficult to have a good performance.
  • Fencers are responsible for their own competition entry and registration.
  • Coaches are perfectly willing to fix equipment in a piste side emergency. However, do not arrive at a tournament with only one working weapon assuming that a coach will act as an armorer the night before your event, or worse, during the event itself. Preparing for a competition you should be fully prepared to fence, including 3-4 working weapons, 2-4 body wires, and appropriate kit.
  • A fencer is responsible for their own preparation ensuring adequate sleep, nutrition, and hydration.
  • Referees make mistakes. Coaches will support the fencer if the referee makes an error in the rules, is not officiating in an honest manner, or is clearly not capable of refereeing at the level of fencing that is occurring. Only then will our coaches attempt to intercede during the bout on behalf of a fencer. Disputing every judgement call by a referee, or even loudly pointing out the occasional mistake, does neither the fencer nor the club any good. By treating referees with respect, and not interfering in the performance of their jobs, referees tend to listen to coaches when they do make objections.
  • Coaches do not travel to act as a chaperone for fencers, they are there in a professional capacity to best support the fencer during the tournament. As athletes remember you represent yourself, Plymouth Fencing Club and for many of you your respective Countries – be positive role models, support each other, be an inspiration!

British Fencing Codes of Conduct:
General Policices >

Young Athletes:
Athlete Youth Events >

Coaches Code of Conduct >

If you have any more questions please ask one of our coaches.