UCS fencing prodigy en garde for England

“Discipline, hard work, dedication and strategy.” The kind of values that would elevate any pupil’s educational prospects are also propelling the international sporting aspirations of junior fencer Harry Roberts.

The UCS Year 9 pupil recently gained the rare distinction of being picked to represent England Under-14 at fencing in two distinct disciplines, foil and sabre. His selection for both teams was the first such achievement by a junior fencer for some years and marked the accomplishment of a twin ambition.

“In order to qualify to represent England in each weapon, I have had to attend many England ranking competitions all over the country and to perform well to get the necessary points to get me into the top eight fencers in the country in each category,” Harry explained to UCS.org.uk.

The England call-up entitles Harry to enter this new year with a definite spring in his step, and his progress will soon take him to elite national-team events in France, Spain and Poland.

“I am travelling to Paris in February for my England foil team international and I will be fencing with the England sabre team in Madrid in April. I am also competing in both weapons in Poland in March,” he said. “After this year of international competitions is over, my next goal will be to work towards getting a place in the Great Britain Under-17 team.”

Harry has been fencing since he was five, initially with “plastic blades” and later with metal. He trains with clubs in both London and Hertfordshire, and has participated in domestic competitions from age seven and internationally from nine upwards.

The “discipline, hard work, dedication and strategy” which have underpinned his commitment to this combat sport are now opening new doors for the talented and resilient UCS pupil.

“I enjoy competing and I am excited to go out onto the international circuit and fence a whole new range of competitive fencers,” he said. “I have been fortunate enough to travel and compete in international competitions before, and I really enjoy visiting new countries and competing against fencers who are completely different to those in the UK.”

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