Fencers’ day of fun and fundraising is a winner

Some of the dressing-up brigade who had fun at the KCC fencing tournament
Some of the dressing-up brigade who had fun at the KCC fencing tournament

Chichester fencers visited Worthing Leisure centre for a very special fencing event – the KCC open epee competition.

Inspired by the work of the Kitendo Children’s Charity in Kenya, Tom Rusbridge of Chichester Fencing Club organised a fantastic day’s fencing to raise funds for the KCC slum project.

The day began with men’s and women’s events being intensely fought.

Chichester’s Charlotte Beadle (best cadet) fought brilliantly in her semi-final that ended with a fine hit from Hannah Mitchell, who went on to face Anahit Campbell in the final.

Campbell won her place in the final after a fierce battle with a determined Kathryn Evans (Chichester – best veteran) but Campbell’s superior fitness saw her through. The women’s final was an aggressive match but Campbell won through sheer determination.

The men’s final was an elegant match that saw John Hyde of Tenterden Sword (best veteran) lose to Calum Maynard of Egham.

Bronze medals in the men’s went to James Russell (Surrey Swords, best cadet) and Will Miller (Eastbourne). There was a huge turnout from Chichester Fencing Club’s male members, with Robin Elliot, 15, finishing sixth in the adult competition.

After the main event came a highly-unusual cross-dressing plate competition. A huge number of fencers competed in this event solely to raise funds and have fun.

Women fenced in moustaches and padded beer bellies and men donned the traditional women’s chest protectors and wigs.

After an exciting all-Chichester final between Tom Raymond-Wells and Robin Elliot, Elliot triumphed – a fitting win as the dressing up was his idea and he’d raised more than £60 in sponsorship to compete in a long blonde wig.

It was a fantastic day of sport and raised more than £700 for the KCC Slum Project. The money will go to schooling, feeding and clothing young people who have little to call their own. If you’d like to donate, visit www.kccslumproject.org

If you would like to try fencing, call Chichester coach Sharon Blackman on 01243 822753 or email sharonblackman1@googlemail.com