Achievements to date
As a child I never really enjoyed any sports that I played at school. Aged 11, my mum took me along to a taster session in fencing at a local leisure centre and from the moment I picked up a sabre I loved fencing. Since then I have been fencing as much as I can. Since 2008 I have been part of MX Fencing Club, and I have been coached by Phil Shepherd-Foster and Chris Schofield since 2011. This year I am taking a gap year to train and compete, having left Sevenoaks School sixth form in May 2013. I hope to study History next year at London School of Economics.
Winning a bronze medal at 2011 Junior National Championships, by beating the 4th seed in the first round (I was ranked 29th!)
Missing out on selection for Cadet European Championships 2012 by only 1 place.
Jessica Ennis-Hill, Heptathlon.
I always take my own pillow to any events where I have to stay the night, otherwise I can’t sleep. Apart from that, I try to keep my warm up and routine exactly the same so I can replicate it exactly every time.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the two years of KT4YS funding which I received was invaluable in allowing me to continue to fence and progress to higher standards than I would have thought possible when I received the funding.
Without the support of KT4YS, my trip to Cape Town for the Junior Commonwealth Fencing Championships and the success I had there would not have been possible. Without the financial support I could not have afforded the additional and extremely valuable training with my coach which put me in a position of strength for the team. I would not have been able to attend the necessary qualifying competitions to make it into the team. The funding also enabled me to buy the specific items of kit I needed to fence in South Africa – a mask to comply with new international regulations and a lame printed with BEDDOE ENG (a badge of honour when representing your country!).
Without KT4YS funding, I could not have gone to Budapest for the International Coaching Course. At risk of repeating myself again, it changed the trajectory of my sporting career. It re-motivated me as a fencer and an athlete overall, and gave me confidence to pursue university sport with renewed confidence and experiences which have served me well to this day.
Since the end of my funding period, KT4YS has continues to impact my sporting career. I have gone on to become a Gold Sports Ambassador at London School of Economics, where I am studying for a history degree. I now represent LSE at fencing too, and in my final year I am captain of the Fencing Team. Just last weekend I was a double gold medalist at the London University Fencing Championships and I am considered a strong hope for medals at the BUCS national championship in February 2017. I have also used my transferrable skills from sports in other areas of my life: I currently sit on the LUSL management board which is responsible for administering inter-university sports leagues in London and have a place to do Teach First in 2017 following my degree (where my sporting experiences were heavily referenced in my interviews!).
The impact of KT4YS goes beyond results alone, although it is undeniable that without the funding I would not have been able to achieve that. It is as much about the confidence of knowing that such a supportive and established organisation believes in you, at such a formative stage in your sporting journey. Through all my results over the period of funding, and especially through the disappointments, knowing that KT4YS believed I had the potential to be the next British Olympic Fencing star kept me working hard and looking on to the next training or competition.”
Over the last twenty years, £198,554 has been awarded to individuals and organisations across Kent.