Newham Swords Fencing Club take top awards
- Credit: Newham Swords
Newham Swords Fencing Club, run by Olympians Pierre Harper and Linda Strachan, had a great start to 2021 by taking British Fencing’s prestigious Performance Club of the Year and Young Athlete of the Year awards for 2019/2020.
This is the second year in a row Swords has won a best club award, having won British Fencing’s Best Club Award for 2018 – 2019.
The Young Athlete of the Year was awarded to National Senior Women’s Foil Champion and GB U20 Number One, Teagan Williams-Stewart, due to her fantastic results achieved both at home and abroad.
The awards were presented to the club as a result of its outstanding success at cadet, junior and senior level, and due to the fact it had 20 fencers represent England and GB at various international tournaments during 2019 and 2020 (more than any other fencing club in the country).
“We are extremely proud of these awards, and of the achievements of all of our fencers who contributed to them”, said head coach Harper.
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At cadet international level, Ellie Knox gained selection for GB for the world cups in Italy, Hungary, Poland and France, while Sophie Tsang made her first appearance for GB at an U17 international in Manchester.
Williams-Stewart achieved a personal best when gaining a silver medal at the Rome U17 international (a result not yet equalled by any other GB fencer), and was selected for both the cadet and junior Europeans and worlds, alongside club mate, Georgia Silk.
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Alice Campbell, Amy Home, Georgia Silk, Jacob Forey-Miller and Teagan Williams-Stewart were all selected to represent GB at the U20 World Cups in Germany, Italy, Romania, Zagreb, Poland, Spain and London, while Williams-Stewart was selected to fence for GB at the Senior World Cups in Russia, Italy and America.
At pre cadet international level, Maksim Vassiljiev and Khalam Contractor each took bronze in the U10 Boys and U12 Boys respectively (the top GB results) at the Paris Challenge Junior International, whilst Dominik and Daniel Juras took gold in the U9 Boys and gold in the U14 Boys respectively at the Copenhagen Junior International.
On the home front, Newham Swords took an amazing medal haul at all the major competitions at cadet, junior and senior level.
Its young cadet fencers managed to win a total of 38 medals at various national Leon Paul Junior Series competitions (more than any other club in the country), which put them at the top of the Leon Paul Club Rankings.
Two of the club’s fencers finished top in their Leon Paul Individual Rankings – namely, Mikhel Archer in the U13 Boys, and Dominik Juras in the U9 Boys.
In addition to these results, they were also able to gain the most medals in the Newham National Junior Series, with Dominik Juras, Isabella Manlangit and Mikhel Archer winning the U10 Boys, the U12 Girls and the U14 Boys Series Trophies respectively.
At the Eastern Region Team Championships, Newham Swords dominated at all the events, taking gold in the U12s, U14s and U16 age groups.
At the British Youth Championships, Teagan Williams-Stewart and England international Khalam Contractor took gold in the U18 Girls and U12 Boys respectively.
At junior level, Swords' GB internationals (Teagan Williams-Stewart, Georgia Silk, and Amy Home) were able to win all of the British ranking tournaments between them, making them the top women’s foil squad in the country.
At senior level, the club won the National Senior Women’s Foil Championships and London Open (through Teagan Williams-Stewart), took gold, silver and bronze at the Invicta Senior Open, took gold and bronze at the Welsh Open, won the Merseyside Open (through Amy Home) and took the trophy at the Kent Senior Championships (for a fourth time in succession through Georgia Silk).
These results are all the more remarkable given that they were achieved by fencers who are still in their junior years.
“This is by far our greatest season, in terms of success achieved at home and abroad, and it is great that British Fencing have recognised that success”, said club manager Linda Strachan.
If you would like to be part of Newham Swords Fencing Club’s success story, or learn how to fence, please contact Linda via email at firstname.lastname@example.org