Congratulations to Lottie, who is now the U11 Epee National Fencing Champion, after competing at the England Youth Fencing Championships at the weekend.
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June saw the England Youth Fencing Championships take place at the University of Hertfordshire Sports Village just outside London. Four of our top fencers attended the day, with Zac fencing in both foil and epee. Ben fenced foil on the Saturday, coming 9th in his first year at U13. On the Sunday, Randeep fenced in the U13 sabre, the first time at the championships and in a higher age group. Lottie fenced in the U11 girls epee, where the pools were split into groups of 6. She was unbeaten in this round, scoring 22 hits against only 5 received. This gave her the number 1 seed, something she wouldn’t relinquish all day. With her ranking she then had a couple of byes, waiting for the last 16 where she won 9-2. The quarter final was a lot tighter, but she pulled ahead at the end to win 10-8. Her semi-final bout was her Everest, as both girls took it in turns to create a lead, only to be pegged back by the other. However at 7-7 Lottie’s opponent scored two quick hits to bring her within a point of victory. Lottie composed herself, learnt from what was happening and ensured she capitalised the next two times to bring a 9-9 draw when time ran out. Sudden death. One minute fencing and if no hit is scored then the result goes to the toss of coin which happened before the bout started. Lottie lost the toss so had to score to win. She waited………..and waited………slowly getting closer to her opponent……….30 seconds passed……….she waited……..another 10 seconds…….then another 8 and then she struck – ONE LIGHT and victory to Lottie! She was in the final!
She had to wait almost an hour for the final, but kept calm and ensured she warmed up whilst the final before hers took place. She faced the number 2 seed and controlled the bout throughout with excellent distance and formidable hits to the arm and shoulder. The bout went into the last period but there was only one winner as Lottie won 10-6 to take the title of U11 Girls England Epee Champion!
Lottie also won Gold at the Dunstan Epee Championships the previous weekend, well done Lottie!
Well done also to Ben, who was part of the England team, who won Silver at a team event in Avignon over Half Term.
Well done to the Pinewood Archery team, who won the Wild Edge Archery Tournament, held at Dauntsey’s, on Sunday. Particular congratulations also go to Freddie, who won the cup for the highest individual score in the competition.
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.
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 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!
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.
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”.