Fencing – Felix Swinbank
“I started fencing as an after-school activity at Wellow House School in January 2009. In September of that year, I started going to Kimberly Fencing Club on a Saturday morning and competed in some inter-club competitions, winning a gold medal in the U13 at Foremarke Hall towards the end of that year. I entered the England Youth Championships in June 2010 and finished an impressive 9th, which was a huge achievement after such a short time in the sport.
“I changed clubs to join my current coach Richard Sharpe from Frisby Fencers in Leicestershire sometime later that year and I competed in a LPJS competition in Blackpool in July 2010 and won a bronze medal and I think that really whetted my appetite for competitions.
“Last year in May I took the silver medal in the British Youth Championship U14 epee. I had a good season in 2011 and finished 3rd in the England U15 rankings and was selected to go to Poland with the England U15 epee team in March of 2012. I finished in the top 16 of the competition; there were 154 entrants from around the world, so this was a fantastic result for my first international competition.
“In February 2012 at the Merseyside Men’s Open senior event, I won the medal for best U18 fencer, finishing higher than any other U18 fencer there.
“I love fencing for a variety of reasons. Firstly for when you get that sweet hit, it feels so good and makes you feel amazing. The feeling of winning when fencing overwhelms your senses. You have no idea what’s happening, it is such a buzz! What keeps me coming back for more is when I win, or get a hit, as well as when I lose, then you are itching to go and set the record straight by beating them.”