10 March 2020
The Stamford Endowed Schools’ U13 Girls fencing team have been crowned British Schools Fencing Champions 2020 at the British Schools Team Fencing Championships, which were held in Rickmonsworth in early March. The Schools entered a Boys and Girls team for both the Under 11 (Years 5 and 6) and the Under 13 (Year 7 and 8) age categories.
The Stamford U13 Girls Fencing Team is made up of Lena Cartwright, Sophia Harper and Tessa Herdale. The team fenced well and in the deciding match against Millfield School, well known as one of the best sporting schools in the country, the Stamford girls dominated the match from start to finish with Lena’s strong attacking, Sophia’s great point control and Tessa’s all around solid fencing securing a very impressive 45-22 to become the Under 13 British School Team Epee Champions.
The Stamford School’s U13 Boys team comprising Rory Dresner, Ethan Mitchell-Clark and James Simon worked well together despite missing some of their other strongest fencers. They fenced admirably to beat a Latymer boys team in the round robin stage and a fairly tight loss against Wetherby to reach the Quarter Finals mid field in 6th seed. The quarter finals draw was unkind having to fence the eventual champions, Hill House School, to finished in a respectable 6th place. This team will be fencing in the same age category next year so will have an additional opportunity to be in contention for a medal.
The U11 Girls (Lila Rock, Ruby Wright, Madeliene Cartwright and Beatrice Stewart) and U11 Boys (Harry Ainsworth, Alastair Chew and Henry Middleton) teams from Stamford Junior School took to the piste with great determination and tremendous teamwork. The Girls fenced well and having beaten a team from Queensgate School in their second match of the day. However, in the final match of their poule, the team needed a win to take home a medal and were matching a Hill House School team in their final match, up to the 6th of 9 bouts, however were unable to hold on and lost that match to finish in 5th place. The Boys had a good win against Brentwood to qualify for the quarter finals where they drew Packwood School finishing in 6th place.
The British Schools Team Championships is a long-standing fixture in the annual fencing calendar. On average, the Championship hosts 160 teams from schools around the UK, showcasing some top-level fencing, and is regarded as the pinnacle of team fencing for youngsters and future stars.
Chris Howser, Stamford Endowed Schools’ Head fencing coach commented: ‘An excellent performance from all of our school fencers with all four Stamford Endowed School teams ranked in the top 6 in the country on a day that had some of our fencers at the venue for over 10 hours. What an amazing achievement for our U13 Girls! All teams should be proud of their performances, well done!’
“It was an extremely competitive field showcasing the best talent in Britain and they all displayed excellent sportsmanship throughout; replacing handshakes with elbow pumps at the end of matches. Our fencing across the Stamford Schools continues to grow and consolidate. Whilst fencing is an ‘optional extra’ at the Schools, we are starting to make waves against other schools who include fencing in their main curriculum. Watch this space…”