Ollie Manning invited to prestigous inter-regional competition in December
PUBLISHED: 12:36 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:36 12 November 2019
Sabre fencing has come a long way in Sidmouth since 2017 when a generous donation made by the Sidmouth Lions allowed the Sidmouth & East Devon Fencing Club to provide sabre fencing equipment to its young fencers, writes Nigel Manning.
At this year's Men's South West Regional Sabre Championship, 17-year-old Ollie Manning was undefeated until the final - where he struck the winning score, but the hit was annulled after a technical fault committed by his opponent.
A frustrated Ollie went on to lose 15-14 and it is a credit to his sportsmanship and the ethos of the club that he was able to contain his disappointment to shake hands with and congratulate the winner.
Ollie has since been invited to compete in the Cadet Winton Cup, a prestigious inter-regional team event taking place in December.
Other junior sabre fencers at the club include Keeley Sawyer, who has also competed in the Cadet Winton Cup, and last year won Junior Women's Master-at Arms in the Devon Championships, and Alanah Sawyer, who finished 16th this year at the British Youth Sabre Championships.
Alex Moore took advantage of the new equipment to win the Wellington Sabre Under-9 Age Groups this year, and brother Toby enjoys fencing sabre at the club and is looking forward to competing.
It's not all about competitions though.
There are plenty of fencers at the club who enjoy social fencing, mastering the use of foil, epee and sabre for exercise and relaxation.
Anyone interested in fencing should ring Sidmouth Sport Centre or visit the Sidmouth and East Devon Fencing Club page on Facebook.
You never know when being able to use a sword might come in handy!