Category Archives: Activities

National Youth Fencing Championships

Ben Turner British Youth Fencing Bronze May 18

Congratulations to Ben, who won Bronze (out of a field of 240) in U12 Foil at the British National Youth Fencing Championship Finals in Sheffield this weekend.

Well done also to Lottie, who came 10th (out of a field of 120) in U12 Epee, and to Zac, who came 27th (out of 240) in U12 Foil and 30th (out of 120) in U12 Epee.

These are all tremendous achievements, which they should be very proud of!

Pinewood Fencing Challenge

fencing 13

On Sunday, we hosted our inaugural fencing challenge, with over 60 children competing in foil, epee and sabre.

Well done to all the children who took part, but particularly to the following Pinewood children on their impressive results:


Gold – Brett

Silver – Georgia, Angus, Arthur and Zac


Gold – Arthur & Angus

Silver – Zac & Brett

Bronze – Lottie & Joao Filipe


Gold – Ben

For more photos, please go to the Photo Gallery

International Fencing Success!


Just before the end of last term, two of our top fencers and their parents flew out to south Poland to compete internationally with other children coming from as far as the United States, India, Israel as well as a host of European countries.  Below, Ben and Lottie have written about their experiences.

Ben: During the Easter holidays Lottie and I competed for the second time at Challenge Wratislavia, the largest fencing tournament in Europe for children.  It took place in Wroclaw, Poland, and went on for five days, with more than 2000 fencers from all around the world participating. There were many categories, on different days, and I fenced in the Under 13 Boys Foil held on the Saturday.   This was the first time I have fenced in this higher age category.

Lottie: I travelled out slightly earlier than Ben as I fenced in Under 11 Girls Epee (Thursday) and Foil (Sunday).  At first I couldn’t believe the size of the arena, how many fencers were there and how far they had come from.

Ben: When my competition started, I had to fence 5 people in the poule round, and, if I didn’t score enough wins in that round, I knew that I might get eliminated straight away. It’s a long way to travel if your day is finished in a few hours! My first match was hard because it was the very first match of the day.  I lost that 3:1, but then went on to win the next four (3:2, 4:1, 3:2 and 3:0), and was pleased to have enough points to get through to the next round.

In fact, my four wins meant that I was seeded in the top quarter, which gave me a bye through the first round.  In the second round, I fenced a Latvian fencer who I beat 12:3.  I then met the No 1 seed (out of 263 entries) from Romania in the next round.  I took my time and used my footwork to stay out of trouble.  Sadly, I lost this match 6:3, but was happy with that result and really proud to finish 51st, and ended up being the second best English fencer in my year group.  It was a good experience to fence people from other countries who fence in different ways and I will definitely return next year to do even better.  Hopefully as a member of the England team.

Lottie: When the Girls Epee competition started, I had to fence 5 people in the poule round (a Bulgarian and four Poles). I won 2 matches and scored points in all of them.  This meant I had enough points to get through to the next round as the bottom third of the entry list are eliminated – elite fencing can be a very tough place sometimes!  I was then drawn against a Turkish girl from the Istanbul Fencing Academy.  Even though she was ranked 40 places higher than me, I held my nerve, practised what I have been doing with Neil and emerged the winner 8-4.  I was thrilled with this result and then faced the 19th seed, who was a Pole.  I kept her moving and scored some nice hits before losing 8-3.  With my victories and points scored I finished 63rd, the third highest English fencer in the category out of 126 entries.  Only three British girls made the last 64 and Neil teaches us all!

As all the U11 girls stayed in the same hotel, we left together and had a nice evening, though I was rather tired.  We then had two days of sight-seeing with my friends Hattie and Emily (from another local school). We visited the old town of Wroclaw and the very large Zoo. It was great fun!

On the Sunday we went back to the venue for the Girls’ U11 Foil event which was even bigger with 158 entries. Again I faced very tough competition particularly from a girl from Singapore who won Bronze and another who came 8th. It was a pool of death!  However, I scored hits and won one bout.  Sadly on this occasion, it meant my day was over but I supported Emily and Hattie in their rounds. I ended up 133rd.

I loved my fencing trip to Wroclaw Poland and I want to thank Neil for being a fantastic coach. The experience of competing internationally has really boosted my confidence and I can’t wait to get out there again.

Lottie in Poland crop

Lottie on Fire in Poland!

Lottie in Poland crop

Well done to Lottie, who is competing in U11 epee and foil at Challenge Wratislavia in Wroclaw, Poland, an international fencing competition held over 6 days, where children come to compete from all over the world, including India, Australia, Israel, South Africa, USA and all across Europe.

Lottie had a hard epee pool in the seeding round, winning 2 from 5 bouts with 130 competitors in her age group. She was promoted to the direct elimination and fought beautifully to come 63rd, taking out seeds ranked higher than her (including the 46th seed)!

She now has 2 days off before competing in the U11 foil on Sunday.


Good Luck Fencers!

Fencing Feb 18 014

Good luck to our international fencers, Lottie and Ben, who are travelling to Wroclaw, Poland later this week to compete at Challenge Wratislavia, an international fencing competition held over 6 days.  Children come from all over the world, including India, Australia, Israel, South Africa, USA and all across Europe, to compete in U11, U13 and U15 age groups in the disciplines of foil, epée and sabre. With over 200 fencers in each age category it truly is an international event. Ben – last year’s U11 No1 GB fencer will be competing at foil, whilst Lottie will be competing in foil and epée in the U11 age group.  Good luck and I look forward to seeing you out there!

Neil Bromley


Pinewood Pupils Qualify for National Fencing Finals

Fencing v Hatherop Jan 15 036

Pinewood made history at the Southern Regional Championships and British Youth Finals qualifiers over the weekend. Ben is the first of our pupils to qualify in two weapons, having won bronze in Sabre at U12 today and previously winning the Foil event held earlier in the year.

He will be joined in Sheffield by Epée bronze medalist Zac and Lottie, who finished fifth in Epée, even though it is her second weapon and first proper competition with it. She becomes the first Pinewood girl to qualify for the British National Championship Finals.

Well done to you all!

England Fencing Youth Development Team Selection

Fencing Feb 18 005 crop

Last weekend saw Zac (Year 7) take part in a trial session to assess his fencing capability at national level, having been spotted at the Southern Region Championships by an England Coach.  As a result he is now a member of the England Youth Development Team, ‘Tomorrow’s Achievers’. To gain this opportunity he was put through a series of testing fitness and blade skill exercises, as well as having to demonstrate his fencing ability through competitive bouts against several older existing members.

Tomorrow’s Achievers will provide Zac with the opportunity to train with some of the country’s best young fencers.  They will work on all aspects of his fencing, including warm-up, stretching, competition strategy, footwork and blade work.  He will be training on a monthly basis with a network of coaches, who have between them developed many British Champions and who themselves have competed on the British, European and International stage.

The coaching he receives at Tomorrow’s Achievers is designed to complement the development he receives at Pinewood and Swindon Fencing Club.

Coach Neil Bromley said “Zac has reached the stage where he needs to increase his training to challenge his fencing further.  Tomorrow’s Achievers is the next step offering him this opportunity whilst supporting his continued development in the sport.  I’m thrilled he has been selected”.

Headmaster, Philip Hoyland said “At Pinewood we nurture talent and seek to understand each child as an individual, in and out of the classroom as well as in team and individual sports. Zac is excelling in fencing and his promotion into the England Development environment is testament to the hard work both he and Neil have put into fencing.  Very well done Zac!”

Zac said “I was really pleased to be asked by an existing England Coach to go along and have my fencing assessed.  Finding out I am now part of the England Development Squad is incredible and is pushing me to become the best fencer I can be”.

Fencing Success at County Championships!

Brett crop

Congratulations to all our fencers, who joined over 70 competitors at Wycliffe School for the Gloucester County Championships last Sunday.

Brett led the way, winning the U10 Boys Foil.  He battled his way to the final, beating boys almost a year older than him. The final was a nail biter with the lead constantly changing before they ran out of time with the scores level. It went to sudden death, but Brett composed himself before launching an excellent disengage attack which clinched him the title. He will be back to defend it next year!

In the U12 Girls Lottie secured silver on her return from lengthy injury, following her broken arm. Her precision with the point was excellent and she can be very pleased with a job well done. She is now focusing on national finals qualification in Epee early next month to become the first girl from Pinewood to qualify.

Lottie crop

Fencing Success!

Ben Turner wins Millfield Foil (IMG_5690)

Congratulations to Ben, who won the U12 regional fencing foil qualifiers over the weekend. This means he will be going to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in May to compete in the National British Fencing Championship Finals.

Success also for Zac, who finished 6th and also qualified. His fencing was so good he has been invited to join the England Team Development Squad – Tomorrow’s Achievers.  His training starts next weekend.

Inter-House Chess & Table Tennis Competitions


With 47 entrants in the Chess and 59 in the Table Tennis, it looked like we were destined for some exciting matches and close contests. In the Table Tennis, last year’s winner, Josh T, was knocked out early on, opening up the tournament for everyone else. Zach M made it through to the semi-finals, beating some good players on his way. Max W also made it through to the same stage defeating 3 Year 8s in the process. However, William S and Tom C triumphed in their respective matches and faced each other during break time. With an expectant crowd waiting, we were treated to an outstanding match. The first game went to 15-13 as each player vied to win by 2 clear points. William made an early lead in the second match, but Tom pegged him back… but it was a little too late and William overcame the pressure to win the match and the competition.

In the Chess competition, the surprise of the tournament was George K being knocked out in the second round. Freddie B (Year 3) had a great run through to the 3rd round and Ollie T only just saw off the challenge of Huw W in the quarter finals. However, Tom C and Lucas B, last year’s finalists, both made it through to the final again this year, (although Lucas was very lucky to escape with a stalemate in his semi-final with Dan L). The atmosphere was tense in the Drawing Room for the match and, despite losing his Queen early on, Lucas fought hard and came back to win the match, (although he was only one move away from a back row mate). In the second game, Tom was initially on the offensive, but a brilliant move from Lucas to pin Tom’s Queen led to victory. To be honest, Lucas was only 1 move away from being check-mated – but just moving his Bishop one square changed the complexion of the game entirely. Both players provided a really entertaining  and the gathered crowds were kept on the edge of their seats throughout.

Well done to everyone who participated in two excellent competitions!