Dream Fencing Club hit the road again at the weekend and headed off to the Alencon International. The competition was very well organised and extended us a warm welcome.
In her first ever tournament, Lily Madgwick, (Caterham) who only started fencing in April, competed in the u11s. After a nervous start, Lily found her confidence and fought her way to a well-deserved silver medal. What a great start to her fencing career.
In the U15 competition Aiden Sharp (Gillingham) got into her stride very quickly. In no time we could hear the French fencers talking about ‘the English’. Aiden was knocked out after a close fight, with the eventual silver medallist. The following day in the u17 age group, Aiden found herself facing the same silver medallist and 2nd seed in her first fight of the Direct Elimination. With all The Team cheering her on, she determinedly built her points to secure a great win, a fabulous confidence boosting fight for Aiden and an exciting one for The Team.
We Build Champions!
Nicola Hull ( Gillingham) had us all out of our seats as she carved her way to the Veterans final where she met Corinne Aubailly, last year’s FIE World Veterans Champion. Boy Oh Boy, Nicola had our blood pressure soaring as she lost a 3 hit advantage that evened the score to 8 all. She didn’t fall apart however and, in a final flurry of action with both fencers missing, found her target on the third attempt, and finished the fight to take the final point and the winner’s trophy. This was to our great relief, cheers, hugs and applause.
Nicola was again at the top of her game the following day as she competed in the Women’s Senior competition. Although having put her all into the Veterans competition, Nicola made it through to the semi-finals where she was finally beaten. Nevertheless, she rounded off the trip by securing the bronze medal after a wonderful effort.
We had one major upset in the tournament when Chloe Shaw (Caterham) lunged at her opponent only to land awkwardly, fell and twisted her knee. We all wish Chloe a very speedy recovery.
We send a huge ‘thank you’ to Yosif who spent the entire two days, running from piste to piste watching almost every fight, 3 at a time on some occasions, then stepped in at the breaks to add words of coaching wisdom to help the fencers perform to their best. The words, ‘push, push’ became the catch phrase of the trip.
Congratulation to all the fencers who travelled to France, everyone achieved a lot, took away valuable experience and many good lessons for the future.