Staff Travel

All travel reimbursements for WFC staff will be calculated according to the following principles:

All of our coaches are volunteers who are generous with their time. They should not be expected to be out of pocket for coaching.

We have three classes of coaches: “full-time” coaches who receive no direct benefit for their coaching, “trainee-coaches” who receive coaching development in exchange for their coaching, and “athlete-coaches” who receive discounts on their fees in exchange for their coaching. It is appropriate that travel reimbursements are handled differently for these three classes. Full-time coaches can expect to have all of their expenses covered. Trainee coaches can expect to have some of their expenses covered, but are expected to carry some of their own expenses in exchange for training that they receive. Athlete-coaches may have some of their expenses covered if the expenses they incur as a result of coaching are far greater than the expenses that they incur as a result of competing, but it is expected that they will carry some expenses in exchange for the discounts that they receive.

Functionally, we use ‘lead’ and ‘assistant’ coaches at tournaments, although the boundaries between these two roles often overlap. Any coach may be asked to fill either role (or sometimes, both roles).

Lead coaches have many complex responsibilities. Therefore, travel arrangements for lead coaches will prioritise the goal of allowing them to best support our athletes over financial considerations. For example, senior coaches may have their own room rather than being expected to share, and may fly rather than drive to competitions. Assistant coaches have fewer responsibilities, and their travel arrangements may strike a different balance between financial considerations and other factors.

Travel costs are a major drain on club resources, and the cheaper the travel costs, the lower we are able to keep the fees for all of our fencers. With this in mind, parents and athletes are encouraged to facilitate coach travel when they are able to do so. This may include carrying equipment, or offering rides to coaching staff when space permits. Where mileage is over 100km, the club will reimburse drivers for the coaches' share of the travelling costs which may include petrol, tolls, and such (for example if there is 1 coach and 3 family members in a car, the club will reimburse 1/4 of the travelling cost). Receipts must be provided to the club treasurer when requested. Please note that the club will not cover the cost of speeding or parking fines, nor will the club pay any additional insurance premiums or excesses which arise as a result of a journey involving a coach.

Sending coaches to every tournament can impede the progress of fencers since independence and self-sufficiency are key skills necessary for competitive success. Therefore the club will only send coaches to some tournaments. Where there are more than 4 fencers, the club will fully cover

any travel reimbursements deemed necessary for coaches (this is not always true for USFA and FIE competitions, which may not be covered under this policy). Where there are fewer than 5 fencers, except in special circumstances, the travelling fencers are expected to fully reimburse the club for all coach travel costs. These situations will always be identified ahead of time to allow the travelling fencers the option of not having a coach, and we will try to provide a breakdown of anticipated coaching costs on request to help inform the decision as to whether fencers wish a coach to travel with them.

Optimizing travel arrangements can be complex with many factors that must be considered. Therefore, each tournament will be considered on an individual basis according to the principles outlined above. In addition, per diems of up to $70 per day will be paid to full-time coaches to cover food and other reasonable expenses, and pro-rated per diems may be made available to trainee- and athlete-coaches. In special situations, alternative arrangements may be made in advance with the Head Coach.

Sometimes, when travelling, decisions need to be made quickly by the people who are directly affected. Wherever possible, when such decisions will incur costs for athletes or their parents, every effort will be made to consult with parents before decisions are made. However, this is not always possible, and in such cases, the lead coach has the authority to make whatever decisions are required to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our coaches and athletes.

Coach expenses in excess of $100 which have not been previously authorised will only be covered at the sole discretion of the Head Coach.

If in doubt, questions should be asked of the Head Coach and/or Treasurer prior to travel.

Any disputes regarding travel disputes should be brought to the attention of the Treasurer. The Head Coach has the final say in all matters.