It had been a long time. And it was strangely unfamiliar for some of us at the start. We maintained Covid measures, including masks and sanitiser, and we capped entries to allow for better social distancing. Our aim – to make sure the only thing people might pick up during the day was a medal. But, Covid restrictions apart, it was just our latest competition and everyone seemed to get back into the swing of things pretty quickly.
Sixty three fencers, nine referees, and four organisers gave their all throughout the day. Blood, sweat, and tears! That’s to say no tears and only two tiny-plaster-sized nicks, but buckets of sweat.
Plenty of well-deserved medals handed out. Plenty of smiles, from medallists and non-medallists alike. And the day ended with a gripping épée final: 9-8 after a priority minute.
Congratulations to everyone involved. We hope you enjoyed the day and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
At last! After what seems like for ever, we can get back to London Region fencing action. And we get things rolling with a 2021 fourth quarter offering three, rather than our previous two, events – two All Weapon Opens and one Saturday focussed on London Schools.
We reboot on Sunday 24th October with a ‘this year only’ change from our established programme. Rather than a Team Competition we’re holding a ‘London Region Welcome Back Open Novice & Intermediate’ at St Benedicts School in Ealing. Being able to enter won’t depend on finding three other like-minded fencers, so no hassle there. And no need to worry about letting other fencers down if you’re not as fit as you’d like to be. So, regardless of how ring-rusty you feel, if you want to get back to sociable competition it’ll be an ideal opportunity for a good friendly fence.
On Saturday 20th November, partnering with Westminster Under School, we’re launching a new annual ‘London Inter-School Under 11 Fencing Festival’. As well as fencing itself, it’ll incorporate simple add-ons including sessions to help the fencers of tomorrow appreciate some basic refereeing and armoury issues in a user-friendly way. It was due to get off the ground in 2020 but coronavirus put an end to that. And current circumstances may temper things a bit. But we’ll be looking to build on it over the coming years.
Then it’s the 2021 CAPITAL OPEN, to be held at its new regular home, the Westminster School Sports Centre near Victoria Station, on its new regular date, the first Saturday of December. A great way to cap off a fencing year in the run up to Christmas.
We hope to see as many old friends and new as we can at these fun events, but to maximise everyone’s safety we might have to limit numbers. So best not delay in making your entries. Why not check out the details of the N&I now on our competitions page.
Maybe it was imagination. Maybe it was the extra hour in bed from the clocks changing. But the competitors seemed somehow more awake than normal at Sunday morning check-in for our All Weapon Team Competition, Sunday 27 October at St Benedict’s, Ealing. And most were early, even those from Canterbury, Leicester, Oxford and Nottingham.
Twenty-five teams entered. Would’ve
been twenty-six if we’d been able to match individuals keen to fence but lacking
team mates. It’s something we’ll explore
next time. One team scratched with
illness. Northampton scratched with a
Saturday pm puncture they couldn’t get fixed.
So, twenty-three intrepid teams made it to the piste for a day’s fun
They fought through the day in a varied programme of short format matches to fifteen points and full-format fights to forty-five. Some fought ‘till their legs turned to jelly. Some fought beyond that. They certainly earnt their medals. But no matter the tiredness, they were still smiling when they left. Or was it cramp? No! They were still smiling. Take a look at the photo gallery below and you’ll see for yourself. And if you want to check the results, go here
Cutlers’ Hall, home to The Worshipful Company of Cutlers who were awarded their Charter by Henry V in 1416, has been home to London Region Fencing’s quarterly ‘board’ meetings for the last 3 years too. It’s given us a great sense of stability, endorsement, and focus for what we try to do. And when the Cutlers invited us to be a part of their ‘London Open House’ event on 21 September we jumped at the chance. It offered us the rare opportunity to promote fencing to people who’ve never experienced, maybe never even thought about, fencing before.
We built our story round fencing “In Our History & Culture”, “In Our Fantasy & Fiction”, and “In Our Community”. Three screens of PowerPoint and video presentations were backed up with ‘touch and try’ kit and weapons, and ‘poster’ displays of some of London’s many successful fencers on the British, European, and World stage. This led on to the opportunity for visitors to experience a mini have-a-go session or watch a splendid fencing display by coach Andrew Nisbet and one of London’s up and coming young fencers, Harry Roberts. And to round everything off, a London Region ‘flyer’ explaining what we do, why fencing’s a brilliant sport and who it’s for, and giving access details and QR codes for ‘Find a Club’ facilities on the LRF and BF websites.
We were in great company throughout and across the day the footfall was fantastic, with over 1200 members of the public getting exposure to our sport. Interest and engagement were high. Even Cutlers’ Assistant Clerk had a go. And feedback was positive. So let’s hope over time it converts to some new faces at London club’s beginner sessions. In the meantime, you might like to have a look below at some of the ‘snaps’ we shot in our spare moments (which weren’t very many!). Or go to the Worshipful Company of Cutlers’ website to get their take on the whole day.
This year’s All Weapon Team Competition will be held on 27th October at St Benedicts School Ealing. Open to fencers across the UK, British or foreign, who are compete members of BF and over 15 on 1st October 2019. Teams of 3 or 4, Epee, Foil, Sabre, Mens, Womens and Mixed Teams. Full details are here. Entries via Sport80 are now open
Why not make up a team with club-mates, family or friends? We can’t guarantee you’ll win, but we can guarantee some fencing fun.