skip to Main Content

Garth Shillito v Fencing New Zealand


Appeal against decision of NSO – non selection for NZ team – S appealed decision of Fencing NZ (FNZ) not to select him for NZ Men’s Open Sabre Team to compete in Commonwealth Fencing Championships 2010 – whether selection process followed and selection criteria properly applied – S pointed to his NZ ranking of 3rd as justifying place in 5 person team – also complained that not all of selected team had competed in all competitions identified as counting towards selection and one member of team resident in Australia and his selection on team was based on results in Australian competitions – also raised questions concerning whether discriminated against on basis of age – FNZ argued deficiencies in ranking system gave S higher ranking than warranted, selectors had to consider prediction of athlete performance in competition as well as rankings/results, and results of Australian resident fencer justified his inclusion in team. Tribunal could not conclude that FNZ failed to follow selection policy – ranking and results in specified tournaments were primary selection criteria but were not exclusive in determining relative performance of fencers – prediction of potential performance in championships also to be considered – matter for selectors what weighting they placed on various competitions and results, including Australian competitions – Tribunal would have to identify clear errors in selection process to intervene and considered no obvious failure by selectors here but rather a judgment call on relative performance – Tribunal concerned over whether age had been factor in not selecting S, which it could not be under selection policy, but ultimately considered this was not the reason for his non-selection – While appeal dismissed, S had properly brought his appeal and exposed matters wanting in FNZ selection policy – Tribunal made comments on what a clear selection policy should contain.

Back To Top