Festive Fencing Gala
A key element of the Fencing calendar, the RGS Fencing Gala, sadly had to be cancelled last year. This year, with careful measures in place and with a reduced capacity entry list, we were able once again to host this popular event. Last Sunday, a total of 58 fencers aged 11 to 18 years from seven different schools and one regional club, fenced across six different competitions. The day began with the Senior Épée and the Year Eight Boys Foil competition. The Senior Épée teams, all experienced, did their own refereeing, while the Junior Foil teams were taught how to referee while they competed.
With the first two competitions on track, the Junior Épée began, shortly followed by the Year Eight Girls’ Foil. At this point we had four competitions running in the four corners of Tom Savage Hall and, as the two Épée competitions finished, the Foil competitions arrived to take their places. Refereeing so many competitions was a challenge, even with the Senior Épée-ists refereeing their own competition, we still needed the seven volunteer referees including coaches, plus former and current pupils, who between them refereed for over 20 hours!
A blow-by-blow account would take far too long, and each fencer will have their own individual moment: an excellent hit against a much more experienced opponent, a clean parry to save a point at a crucial moment, catching up several points to make the competition much closer, fencing in a match where there was never more than a point or two difference throughout. Suffice to say, everyone I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed the event and was thrilled to be fencing in a competitive environment.
The RGS Fencing Gala has always been about the experience, the taking part: for many of the fencers, this was their first chance to fence in a competition at all and certainly their first experience of team fencing. Many of them have fenced for a very short time, some just starting this term and even the more experienced have had little opportunities for competitive fencing over the past two years. However, a competition is still a competition, so here are the winning teams: Warwick School won the Senior Épée and RGS Worcester won the Junior Épée. King’s School Worcester won the Year Eight Boys’ Foil, Cotswold Sword won the Year Seven Boys’ Foil and King’s High School Warwick won the Year Seven and the Year Eight Girls’ Foil.
Very well done to all the Fencers who took part and our grateful thanks to the referees for giving up their time and supporting the competition.
Dr Philip Ehlers
Head of Fencing