Sword Fencing is flying high at St Francis School
Pupils at St Francis School recently finished their first term of sword fencing with 18 of them achieving British Fencing Association Grade One Award in Foil.
Each week, a group of complete beginners they have learnt how to stand en guarde, move backwards and forwards, and use distance to lure their opponents into striking distance. Lessons have also focused on the benefits of attacks and the need for a solid defence to prevent being hit. As well as the children learning something new in school, they have also been given the opportunity to attend Swindon Fencing Club on a Wednesday evening to continue their development.
Fencing coach, Neil Bromley said “The children have had a great time and learnt lots too. Fencing is great for all-round fitness, muscle toning, building core strength, coordination and balance. As competitors lunge at each other, it helps improve the flexibility in the thighs, hips, glutes, upper back, lower back and shoulders. Fencing’s unique mix of physical and intellectual stimulation can burn approximately 400 calories per hour so the children certainly got a workout each session. Since you need to make lightning-fast decisions, it is also excellent for concentration and focus all of which I think appeals to children of all ages.”
Head Teacher David Sibson said “We are always looking for different sports for the children to experience and fencing fits very well with us wanting to offer a breadth in our subjects. He added, ” At St Francis we nurture talent both collectively in team sports and also in individual disciplines such as fencing. Where potential is identified we aim to channel it positively so children can become as good at an activity or sport as they want to be. I am looking forward to seeing how fencing grows here”.
Pupil William, Year 8 said “The moves we learnt and games we played in our fencing classes are great. I have already joined Swindon Fencing Club and won my first two bouts there. I look forward to fencing each week and when the time is right I want to compete and see how good I am against other fencers too.”