On Saturday 7 September, Year 11 students Lachlan and Francesco took part in the Under 17 British national’s competition where they both made it to the last 16. The fencers will be competing in various other competitions throughout the season including the Public School’s Championships, the Team Championship and the Leon Paul Series, with Lachlan and Francesco leading the way. These two young fencers are two of the most outstanding sportsmen we have had as a school and are both pushing to be part of the GB set up this year having represented England and GB at younger year groups. Fencing at Eltham also continues to grow and improve, with more and more boys joining the Junior club.

Following the success of the last weekend, we caught up with Lachlan and Francesco to find out more about Fencing at Eltham.

Tell us a little bit about the competition last weekend?

Lachlan: “Last weekend was the Under 17 British Nationals. Both Fran and I made it to the last 16.”

Francesco: “This was an Under 17 national competition which granted us qualifying points for the GB squad to go to Budapest in October. The top 15 in the rankings go and I arrived 13th in the competition which will grant me a fair few points in the ranking.”

What will the competition lead to for you as a fencer?

Lachlan: “This result will give both of us ranking points which, if we finish in the top 15, will grant qualification for nominated internationals starting with Budapest at the end of this year.”

Francesco: “It will lead to qualifications for the GB squad to go to various     international competitions.”

How did you get into fencing?

Lachlan: “I began fencing in Year 3 with the Junior School once a week then slowly began to have more training sessions a week and go to more competitions.”

Francesco: “Well I wanted to try some extra-curricular activities when I was in Year 4 and fencing seemed interesting to me, so I signed up.”

How many sessions do you train a week?

Lachlan: “I train four days a week for over ten hours.”

Francesco: “I have a two-hour session on Tuesday at Horn Park, then I have a two-hour session at Salle Boston at Westminster, then a two-and-a-half-hour session at school on Friday and finally, a three-hour session on Sunday at school.”

Is there a Junior School programme for fencing?

Lachlan: “Yes, for the Junior School I believe there are sessions on Thursdays after school in the school hall and for the Senior School there is a session on Friday and Sunday. We also send out a team to the public school championships.”

Francesco: “Yes, there are training sessions every Friday and Sunday which anyone is welcome to come along to.”

How many competitions do you have this year?

Lachlan: “This year, depending on international qualification, I will go to five or six domestic competitions and 1-3 international competitions (qualification dependent).”

Francesco: “This actually depends on how well I do in competitions in Britain. If I do well enough to qualify then I am able to go to international competitions.”

Is the future of fencing bright at Eltham College?

Lachlan: We currently have many Junior School and Lower School students who have taken up fencing.”

Francesco: “I believe that many of our current fencers have potential and could become a lot better if they just trained slightly harder.”

What would you say to anyone thinking about getting involved?

Lachlan: “At Eltham, we have many opportunities to start fencing and you should give it a try.”

Francesco: “Sign up for our clubs on Friday and Sunday.”