15th May 2014
Hundreds of people try fencing as thousands more watch in amazement
Wednesday, 14th May 2014, was a landmark day for British Fencing as Network Rail provided space on the concourse of Waterloo Station for a fencing showcase. Over 300,000 people pass through the busiest station in Europe on a daily basis and it was fencing that took centre stage.
Preparation for the event began late into the night before any fencing took place as the piste had to be in place by 4am on the day of the event. Coaches, fencers and British Fencing staff started to arrive at 9am for a midday start. What a start it was. As the first bout began, passers-by literally stopped in their tracks watching the fencers go at each other.
Not long after the volunteer coaches from as far afield as Portsmouth began giving their first taster sessions using GO/FENCE equipment as young and old queued up for their go. With the demonstration scheduled to last until 7pm the early signs were good and the number of people wanting to try the sport throughout the day was incredible. Demonstrations of all three weapons were put on, coaches were on hand to deliver tasters to individuals and groups alike and the audience numbers were consistently high from start to finish.
Speaking about the event, British Fencing’s CEO, Georgina Usher said; “It was an incredible day which exceeded all of our expectations. We wanted to showcase our sport, introducing it to a new audience and we did just that. We really wanted to show that fencing is a sport for all, one which you can start at any age and any fitness level. We've had several hundred people sign up already today for free sessions at their local clubs, and many more vouchers distributed. ”
Chair of British Fencing, David Teasdale added; “Opportunities like this don’t come along every day and my thanks go to Network Rail, our hosts, and Beazley, our Premier Partner, for making this such a success. I’d also like to thank Georgina and her team of staff and army of volunteers for their tremendous efforts today.”
A great deal of contact information was collected on the day and the staff at Head Office will now be tasked with matching those who want to take up the sport with their local club.
For those people who were unable to make it but want to try fencing please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your town/postcode for information on availability of free sessions in your area.
Quotes from those who tried fencing for the first time:
“I come through Waterloo every day and this is by far the most spectacular thing I have seen here!” John, 42, office worker
“My friend and I came in to London today for a trip to a museum and couldn’t resist stopping to see this sport up close. Amazing! My friend even had a go against a professional.” Stanley, 80, retired
“I pick my kids up from school every day and we catch the train home. We couldn’t resist having a go and they loved it. They can’t wait to go to their local club and I might give it a go too.” Susan, 34, mum