Fencing has grown from strength to strength over the past year at Hatherop Castle School with children now competing at a national level. To find out more, I had a little chat with two of our Prep 8s. I wanted to ask them about their fencing journey at Hatherop Castle School and their plans for the future.

When did you first start fencing?

A: I started in the first term of Prep 5.

N: I also started in the first term of Prep 5.

What ignited your interest in fencing?

A: I thought fencing would be a very interesting sport to try. I had not come across it before. It was a very exciting first lesson and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

N: I was looking through the clubs list and came across fencing. My parents said they wished they could have done this when they were younger. I decided to try it and I loved it.

Tell me the structure of a typical fencing lesson?

A: We do some warm up blade strokes and then some more interesting variations. Then we would link all of the strokes together.

What is your favourite class in fencing? Why?

A: Probably foil because it is the one I am most confident in but I find Sabre the most fun!

N: Epee, because it is the one I am in the England team for.

How many tournaments have you competed in and which was your favourite?

A: Too many to count! My favourite was the British Youth Championships in 2018, I got a medal.

N: Same, too many to count! The best one was the English Youth Championship because I won a gold medal.

Are you going to continue to fence in your new school?

A: Yes, I really hope to continue fencing in my new school.

N: Yes, I am moving on to Malvern College where I am looking forward to continuing with my fencing.

Which school are you moving on to next year?

A: Cheltenham College

N: Malvern College, it has one of the best Epee clubs in the county which will be great.

Any advice for anyone considering getting in to fencing?

A: Be prepared for your weekends to be taken up as it is quite a time consuming sport. However it is very rewarding.

N: Be committed and prepared because when you get to a good level you travel a lot! Just try it because it is a lot of fun.

Finally, who is your fencing idol?

A: I think Valentina Vezzali, an Italian fencer. She is a wonderful fencer and person and I truly aspire to be like her. She has won 6 Olympic gold medals.

N: Richard Kruse is a foilist in the England team and he fences beautifully. I personally prefer Epee but foil is still a good weapon.