Sixty Second Interview

Who inspired you? Who are your sporting heroes?
My Dad is a two-time Olympian and my Mum was top flight athlete so I think it's in the blood. Their support and drive has helped me enormously. And then there's Man United legend Cristiano Ronaldo; a strange choice but I love how he's his own man and wants to be the best.
How often do you train and do you enjoy it?
I love training! I do about 12 hours a week. Not only does it keep me in good shape, I find it relaxes me after the pressures of school and clears my mind; I don't see it as work but something I enjoy.
What do you find most rewarding (and challenging) about a competition?
Pitting myself against the best and beating them. It's just me, my wits and my skill against an opponent with nowhere to hide. I thrive on that. I fight in the moment and hate the idea of looking back and thinking "what could have been" so that drives me on.
What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
People might think it was winning the UK championship but it's actually when I beat the Russian and world number 3 against the odds in the World Championships. It was down to last 64 in the world and I wasn't expected to beat him. At 11-3 the word got around a big crowd gathered. I won 15-8 and it was a fantastic feeling! Even though I came 30th I remember that and want to repeat it.
Do you have any hobbies? How do you relax before a competition?
I listen to music to relax and chill out; mostly dance, club and R&B but really whatever gets me in the right mood. I'm still a Football Manager fanatic, been playing it for years and still find it fun and, oddly, educational. And to truly relax, I sleep!
What do you enjoy most about your sport?
On top of the adrenalin and excitement of competition I love its uniqueness. There aren't many top class fencers and it feels good to considered one of them.
What advice would you give to a youngster just getting started in fencing, or any sport?
That's simple, don't give up! You can never go so low that you can't rise again. At 11 years old I came 56th out of 57 in a competition but I sat with the pain of losing and got better, and better. Train hard but also enjoy what you do.
What would you take on a desert island?
An open-mind. With that I can respond to my environment and survive.
What are you sporting and personal ambitions?
There's talk of the Olympics and that's wonderful but the most important season is always the one you're facing. So my ambition this year is to win the Under 17 Championship and to be the best in my age and category. If I keep performing well then other success will follow.

Fencing and Me

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Fenced in European and World Under-17 championships. Not open, need to be selected for British squad

Selection requirements

What is required to be selected for British squad

  • Results
  • Squad training

Preparation for selection

  1. Training
    1. Schedule
      1. Training camps 
      2. Squad training
      3. Weekly training
    2. Type of training
      1. Strength and conditioning
      2. Individual lessons
      3. Any other?
  2. Competition
    1. Open events
    2. Selection events
    3. International events
  3. Ranking, how it is calculated

The tournaments

Differences to domestic tournaments

  1. More stringent control
    1. All kit checked to ensure conformance to current international standards. Penalties applied if not
    2. Published schedule which you are expected to know and adhere to, not turning up on time can result in expulsion from the tournament.
    3. Much higher likelihood of testing for doping
  2. Higher standard of refereeing, with stricter adherence to international rulings on phrasing (what constitutes an attack, what a parry etc.) and imposition of penalties for infringements. Video refereeing?

The competition

  1. Types of competition
    1. Cadet
    2. Junior
  2. Importance of initial rank, where I was ranked going in to the competition
  3. Format
    1. Individual
      1. Poules, how it works
      2. DE, how it works
    2. Team, how relay works

Results

  1. European
    1. Cadet
      1. Individual
      2. Team
    2. Junior
      1. Individual
      2. Team
  2. World
    1. Cadet
      1. Individual
      2. Team
    2. Junior
      1. Individual
      2. Team

Lessons learned

Differences between domestic and “ordinary” international events and the European and World championships. What I need to do to achieve better results.

More in this category: « Profile

Achievements

Team GB

Silver
Passport Holder

 

British Fencing

Selected member of the British Fencing Talent Programme

Member of the British Under-17 and Under-20 Squads

British Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 Gold medallist

England Fencing

England Under-15 Silver medallist