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Friday, 03 January 2014 (3047035)
Fencing ace strikes gold in regional event
by Henry James

A TALENTED young fencer who only took up the sport three years ago has claimed a prestigious regional title.

Scarisbrick Hall School pupil Richard Michell ended his under-14s career in style at Bury, winning silver in foil and gold in epee at the last event of the series.

and that gold in epee - his fourth this year - earned him sufficient points to secure the North West Epee trophy.

Richard took up the sport in 2010 after attending an after-school club run by local fencing coach, David Stobbs. He quickly demonstrated an aptitude for the sport and started attending local clubs in Ormskirk, Southport and Liverpool for extra practice.

In 2012 Richard felt ready to try his hand at competitive fencing and in his first event, the Liverpool Phoenix Beginners Foil, he battled through to win a bronze medal.

Further medals followed in the last two Junior Series events of 2012, another bronze in foil and a dramatic gold in epee, beating the 2012 series winner in the final.

This success inspired Richard to swap his focus from foil to epee for 2013 and he also entered several senior competitions to gain experience of competing against adults.

Richard also competed in his first under-17 national event last year at the Lancashire Cadet Epee, where he unexpectedly won through his first round match in a thrilling 15-14 contest.

This earned him sufficient ranking points to be seeded 28th nationally and he received an invitation to join the North West team for the Cadet Winton Cup in December, a two-day fencing marathon where the top three cadets from every region fence each other in an inter-regional contest hosted at Millfield School in Somerset.

Scarisbrick Hall headteacher, Mr Shaw commented: “All the staff and students at the school are proud Richard's success in winning the NWJS Epee trophy. Richard is a diligent, hard-working student who started fencing through our enrichment programme three years ago.

”We would like to wish him all the best as he steps up to cadet age groups.“

And school fencing coach, David Stobbs added: ”Richard is a dedicated student and eager to learn. He has the potential to reach international level with the right support.“

Richard will be embarking on national cadet events this year and is currently looking for sponsors to help him take this next step, with the aim of achieving a top ten ranking and selection for the national team.


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