KT4YS recipient Megan Beddoe (Fencing) is spending three months in Budapest studying and training to be the world class athlete that she aspires to be. The Kent Trust for Youth Sport asked Megan to compile a two-part blog about her time in one of the best cities in Europe for Fencing.
I have now been in Budapest for over 7 weeks! I can’t believe I have survived this far! It seems like only a few days ago that I nervously packed my essentials (everything I could carry below the weight limit) and my fencing kit into a bag and set off to spend almost 3 months in a country on the other side of Europe.
Go back in time to January 2014. I was reminded by my coach that the deadline was approaching for a course in Budapest, called the ICC (International Coaching Course) run by TF, Semmelweis University. We had vaguely discussed me doing it a while beforehand, both of us agreeing it was a good idea, but closer to the date it suddenly seemed very real! I spoke to my parents and also to KT4YS, who both agreed that it would be an amazing opportunity – and some administrative tasks later – here I am.
The ICC is a 12 week course designed to educate coaches from around the world – especially those supported by the Olympic Solidarity foundation, but for fencers it provides a unique opportunity – to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be a world class athlete or to coach one, AND to spend 3 months training in of the best cities in Europe in terms of fencing clubs. This is why I decided to come to Budapest.
So, now I have settled in here, I am having an amazing time. All of our lecturers on the more academic side of the course are also coaches, so as well as being very well informed, they are also able to help us apply the knowledge to real life situations. We have learnt many interesting and new training methods and theories related to general sports skills and teaching – which I found to be a fascinating insight into the coach-pupil relationship. It has definitely given me a new appreciation for the hard work that my coaches have put into working with me over the years! Our sport specific coaches have been fantastic! Some have trained Olympic medallists and world champions, and most have trained under the system that we are working in, so they have helped us to develop our skills at an amazing rate.
There are two other fencers from the UK doing the course during their gap year – but I actually hadn’t met either of them before coming to Budapest, despite us having various mutual friends in the UK fencing community! They have been great training partners and good company. In addition, due to the international nature of the course, I have met other coaches from all over the world. There are people on the course from Africa, Asia, Europe and Central America.
I have been training at one of the best fencing clubs in the city – recommended to us by an old fencing acquaintance of one of the other fencers on my course. It is a fantastic training environment – the fencers there are friendly and were very welcoming, and most speak very good english too! They are also great sparring partners, and provide a fantastic challenge for us. Training there has really given me the chance to try out and hone skills which I had previously only worked on in lessons with my coach back home. I have also been able to work with the coaches there, which has been a very valuable experience.!
I will be in Budapest until 5th June, and until then I will still be fencing as much as I can, in all 3 weapons, and making the most of this fantastic experience.
Read Megan Beddoe’s biography here
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