British fencing star Stephanie, of 11E, has not only excelled the sport’s annual national competition but is now the face of its live feed and advertising.
Stephanie competed in the British Youth Championships Under 18 Girls Foil category in Sheffield on 30 April – 2 May, with 3,000 fencers taking part in the three-day competition, after qualifying via the regional events.
Stephanie finished fifth (with medal places going to the first eight places) losing only two fights the whole day. As the heats progress, the last four rounds are whittled down from 64 fencers to the final eight.
She said: “I started fencing aged seven, after giving up on ballet. My grandfather had fenced for the Army, but I was 10 years old before I won the North West Junior Series and I felt it was a reward for my efforts. I don’t give up easily!
“What I like about the sport is that it’s all about independence, you can’t blame your team mates if it goes wrong. While I felt prepared for the Championships, although I gave it my best shot, I didn’t even think I’d come in the top 16 which I’ve never done before. It was stressful but exciting over a five-hour period. I felt the day went well from the start.
“There is no particular physique needed for the sport, being either tall or short have their advantages, but you need stamina. I’m a member of Liverpool Fencing Club and Liverpool University Fencing Club which gives me plenty of training. It’s also great sport socially and I have friends from all over the world.
“I like foil fencing as it’s about fast, small dainty movements, unlike sabre fencing where you charge at each other and épée which is smoother and every move counts.”
British Fencing has made Stephanie the face of the womens’ live feed and advertising. She said: “This has been a great opportunity but my friends think it’s quite funny that my face keeps popping up on their website.
“I like the fact women are getting more representation in fencing, however, and that they’re using more women for campaigns. Photos online can really help give people in fencing more representation and showing everyone what a diverse sport it is.”
British Fencing UK Senior Women’s Foil currently ranks Stephanie as 49th and it has selected her to represent the North West at the Winton Seniors Cup this summer.