The partnership of Truro Fencing Club and Truro School made British fencing history when the Truro team secured gold in all four sabre titles at the under-17s and under-20s British Fencing Championships in London. The four gold medals add to the team’s two senior championship medals won towards the end of 2014 by Sophie Williams and former Truro School pupil James Honeybone, a 2012 Olympian. Truro Fencing Club now holds all six national sabre titles in every age range, something that no club or school has ever achieved before.
In the boys’ events, sixth-former Will Deary won the junior under-20s event with fifth-year student Jamie Craze taking the under-17s cadet championship, narrowly beating Camden’s George Suddards, the second seed, 15-14 in a closely fought final. In the girls’ competition, fifth-year Maria Chart beat a field of opponents to be crowned under-20s junior champion, with Caitlin Maxwell taking the under-17s title the previous day.
Andrew Gordon-Brown, headmaster at Truro School, said: “The results from Will, Jamie, Maria and Caitlin are a credit to all the hard work and dedication they have put in over many years here at the school. They have set a fine example to follow for future students and potential fencing scholars, and continue to do so at each and every competition. The Truro School community are very proud of them.”
Fencing has been a part of Truro School’s co-curricular programme for a number of years, but the partnership originated in 2007 when languages teacher, qualified fencing coach and former national champion Lucy Jupp joined the school and teamed up with Jon Salfield at Truro Fencing Club.
Lucy encouraged the students to take up fencing, which resulted in an influx of young members at Truro Fencing Club. Together they have worked to bring a professional performance programme to Truro, tapping into the world-class coaches already working at the club. Lucy said: “The collaboration between the school and the fencing club has worked exceptionally well over the last decade, the record-breaking results at the British Championships highlight that.”
The partnership was cemented in 2014 when Truro Fencing Club relocated from its training base at Newham to operate on the Truro School premises. Lucy continued: “By being on site here at Truro School, we have the advantage of being able to provide students with all the training they need to compete at international standard whilst supporting them academically.”
Students at Truro Fencing Club recently competed in the European Circuit event in Maribor, Slovenia, while a further four have been selected to travel to Uzbekistan in April, having qualified for the under-17 and under-20 World Championships.
Lucy said: “It is essential for their fencing and academic success that they are all provided with distance learning support through electronic tablets and ebooks. This allows them to communicate with teachers and submit work whilst away to ensure that they keep up with their studies. Training over four hours per day means that the fencers also need to eat every few hours so an integrated nutritional programme allows them to stay fuelled for their lessons and fencing training.”
After the record-breaking performances at the British Fencing Championships, the junior and cadet members of the team hope to join James Honeybone and Sir Ben Ainslie on the school’s list of Olympians by aiming to compete at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.