Wales’ team for the 30th Cadet Winton was a young one, with fewer than half of the 22 fencers having had previous experience of the competition. Several were aged 13 or 14 – often fencing against experienced 17-year-old fencers.
The region finished fifth (equal) of the nine competing regions, which I think is an excellent result and a solid foundation for the future.
The start of the two-day competition proved a little difficult for most weapons (girls’ sabre being the exception) and we were for a while in contention for the ‘shaggy dog’ booby prize. However, the majority warmed into the event and results improved as it went on.
Teamwork was much in evidence, which was great to see. Weapon captains gave all team members a good amount of fencing which, while it might have cost us a point or two, will have a huge benefit for developing fencers who might otherwise have felt sidelined. All fencers were keen to get on the piste, even those who picked up (thankfully minor) injuries - Seren Williams reminded me of The Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (ask your parents, or grandparents) when she insisted on fighting on despite being unable to stand on a twisted ankle. All teams did their share of refereeing, and even the sabreurs still looked strong at the end despite having no reserve fencers.
Team members’ behaviour was excellent throughout, both on the piste and off, making the job of Rachel, Elaine and myself much easier – thank you all.
Overall, we beat Yorkshire, North West and Southern; drew with South West and lost to South East (just), Eastern, West Midlands and London.
- Boys’ foil: won 33 bouts, lost 39
- Boys’ epee: won 25, lost 47
- Boys’ sabre: won 25, lost 47
- Girls’ foil: won 26, lost 46
- Girls’ epee: won 37, lost 35 (the 4-5 result against London was the nearest the runaway winners came to a defeat all weekend)
- Girls’ sabre: won 53, lost 19 (second place in the weapon trophy competition with wins in 7 of their 8 matches).
I hope all involved enjoyed the competition, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of you in the future.