Communication is one of our 10 Life Skills in the Shield of Endeavour programme. Below there are letter from fencers saying what they have been doing to keep their training up during lockdown and why they would recommend the sport.
Ss Alban and Stephen
Haberdasher’s Aske Boys School
Beechwood Park School
Hertingfordbury Cowper Primary School
“Dear Aldwickbury School, I am doing the Shield of Endeavour for my bronze fencing award. By writing this letter I am completing this week’s topic of communication and it’s pretty fun. During lockdown I have been doing Zoom sessions with footwork on Friday and bladework on Wednesday. In my garden I also have done assault courses and target practice to help me in fencing. It has been different to normal fencing lessons, but I have enjoyed doing the 20 second challenge and lots more. Fencing is great because it teaches you good sportsmanship and competitiveness”.
Henry N – Aldwickbury School
“Why I enjoy fencing and why you should start! I started fencing once a week with the school club at Aldwickbury. Fencing club nights were fun and I soon wanted to do more. After around 1 year I joined the Paul Davis Fencing Academy and started training 4 times a week and competing around the country in the Leon Paul junior series league. Physically, fencing develops fitness, flexibility and coordination. We also learn wider skills that are important in life as well as fencing. These skills include working to get better at a new skill, performing under pressure, learning how to lose without getting too upset and learning to enjoy wins without making the other person feel bad. Although fencing is an individual sport, the club and academy evenings are very sociable. You will meet many interesting people and feel part of the club”. Henry W – Aldwickbury School
“Dear PDFA, I started fencing in Year 3, I didn’t know much about it when I started but I thought fighting with swords would be cool. But fencing is much more than that. It is a sport with strict discipline and manners along with the skills and rules of fighting. It is a sport where respect for your opponent is really important. It is great for keeping fit. At the beginning of lockdown I joined the Academy on line training sessions with my ‘hit mate’ (a ball hung from the light fitting on a piece of string). We practised hitting skills and techniques. When we went back to school after Easter I joined the Academy on line course. I have really enjoyed going to fencing three times a week, it has added to my routine and fitness. I find the analysis sessions, looking at GB fencers fights with Rhys analysing what happens has been fascinating. It has been special doing footwork training with GB fencer Marcus Mepstead. Thank you PDFA for keeping us fencing during lockdown and keeping us positive”. Thomas D – Aldwickbury School
Beechwood Park School
Dear friends, I wanted to tell you about a sport I enjoy, called fencing which is really fun, energetic and fills you with Adrenalin. You should definitely try this sport because it’s great for your fitness, as well as your brain because there a lot of strategy involved. Also there’s really nice coaches who say what you can improve on and things to try and do. And you meet lots of new friends at the fencing club. Give fencing a go, you’ll really enjoy it! Seb C – Beechwood Park School
Beechwood Park School
Dear Mr Le Bas, I am working on completing my Bronze Shield of Endeavour for fencing at PDFA. This week is ‘communication’ and we have been asked to write a letter about why we love fencing and what we have been doing during lockdown. Over the lockdown period I have been fencing 3 times a week via zoom. On Monday’s we practice our blade skills, on Thursday’s we look at videos of professional matches and talk about tactical analysis. On a Friday we focus on Footwork. We have had lessons from Marcus Mepstead who is an Olympian and a World Champion fencer. I have completed some of the 20 second challenges and a few weeks ago we played a fencing card game online against each other to learn about strategy. I like fencing because my friends do it and it is something that keeps me fit. It is really fun. Will J – Beechwood Park School
St Columba’s College
Why I like fencing. I like fencing because it is a sport all about independence, skill and mindset. It helps you in life in keeping control and improves your sportsmanship. It teaches you to be humble when successful and respectful when things don’t go your way. It depends on you, if you lose you have yourself to blame, but if you win, the credit goes to you. I also like fencing as it is a very competitive sport where you travel around the country doing competitions where you can show off your skills and learn how not to lose your temper. Fencing is a great sport and I think more boys and girls should participate in. That is why I love fencing. Aidan GG – St Columba’s College
Hello! I am writing to tell you about the zoom lessons with Paul Davis Fencing Academy. They are really good and are a good substitute for real fencing. I would really recommend coming to these sessions because they are such a great way to learn remotely and also to enjoy exercising at home. Martino C – Beaumont School
A sport where you get to stab your friends, need I say more??? The idea of the sport is using a sword to score points. It is perfect for tactical and strategic people as there is a combination of skills and fitness. It is fun, entertaining and easy to pick up. Also, during lockdown you can join online sessions with high standard and sometimes olympian coaches. It is a one in a lifetime experience and I have got a lot of good memories and friends out of it. So I would highly recommend starting fencing throughout the most boring time on earth. Jonathan B – Verulam School
Fencing Things I’ve Done In Lockdown. As we know in lockdown no one can really go to their clubs. Yes this has happened for fencing but my club haven’t stopped the whole thing. Every week day PDFA ,my fencing club, still do lessons. How you may ask? Using Zoom. On Mondays we have a blade work lesson (hitting a tennis ball hanging down from the ceiling) and fitness. On Tuesdays I have a private lesson with an amazing coach called Alex. He does tire me out but it definitely helps with my footwork and fitness. Wednesdays I have a cadet session which does many different things each week. Thursdays we have a video analysis lesson. In this, we record down very exciting professional fencers. The class then talk about the match with questions like: ‘why do you think he/she did that?’. Fridays it is Footwork Fridays.!As it says in the name we do fencing footwork. Twice (and soon to be 3 times) we have had a professional fencer named Marcus Mepsted take the session. Marcus Mepsted came 2nd in the world championships for foil. I always look forward to do these because they are very fun.
Extra Activities – To keep fencing going, we have had many other activities to fo at home that we can all do. There are:
• 20 second challenge- see how many times you can hit the tennis ball
• A card game competition on Zoom
• NHS appreciation – we saluted the NHS and past a letter on to them
The Team – In our club we have amazing coaches. They help us anytime and always make the lesson so much fun! All the other people in PDFA, are just like them. No one is ever unkind and there is always a smile on everyone’s face.
To conclude, Team PDFA has definitely made lockdown WAY more interesting. Without them I wouldn’t do much at all. Thank you! Maya S – Manland School
St Columba’s College
The importance of fencing. I have been fencing for nearly seven years, I started in September 2013 when I had just begun Year 3 at school. My interest came from watching fencing at the 2012 London Olympics. Fencing looked fast, very intense and good fun. I love the fact that you meet lots of new people, and fencing has been good for my fitness and strength. Also, fencing helps with coordination, fitness, flexibility, reflexes and resilience, which is a very good reason why other people should take this sport up. I find fencing different from other sports. It is both an individual and a team sport, which means you get to know your teammates and encourage each other to do well. Before lockdown, I trained four nights per week. I trained so often, partly because I enjoy it so much and partly because I want to get better and keep improving. As a result of entering many competitions, I have learned to be very resilient; learning how to both lose and win. Fencing has also helped me during lockdown, as virtual sessions have always given me something to look forward to during the long days at home. I sign-in to virtual sessions, which take place most days and they have been great for keeping me fit and in good health. To summarise, everyone should consider taking up fencing as; you learn new skills, achieve and keep a good level of fitness and it is great fun. I am really looking forward to face-to-face sessions and competitions starting again soon! Jacob B – St Columba’s College
Sir John Lawes School
I love fencing because:
- It is competitive and has great competitions.
- The other fencers are always polite, and everyone enjoys the sessions, making it more fun.
- There is always a sense of achievement when you score a point.
- It is great physical exercise, and always leaves you feeling great afterwards.
- It teaches youlife skills, like the shield of endeavor.
- It teaches you not to be a sore loser when you lose a match.
- It can be practiced easily (if you’re careful!).
Those are the seven main reasons why I love fencing, and why I think that anyone looking to take up a sport or a new hobby should choose fencing (especially if it’s with PDFA). I hope that with these reasons I have convinced you to have a go at fencing. Lucas F, Fencer, PDFA
Beechwood Park School