Ok, so now that we are back from soggy Shropshire, and we have had the chance to sleep, I am still smiling at the boys Fencing performance. He had high expectations of the event, and managing them as we drew closer to the big day was getting more difficult. I think he though the other fencers might let him win? I think Dad and I knew better.
Firstly the British Youth Championships is the sort of competition that only a committed fencer is going to take part in. The age group is for under 10’s which means that some of the boys there were at least a year older. In fencing terms this means a whole lot more experience, strength and stamina.
Poule One: It wasn’t going to be the walk in the park the boy expected. This all became apparent when the boy lost the first match 0-5. The face said it all, with 4 more matches to fight, the scores got slightly less painful at 0-5, 0-4, 0-5 giving him an overall competition ranking of 55 out of 56 competitors. I don’t know what we would have done without the the support of his two friends who had driven up to take part. They along with the parents managed to win him back round that not all was lost.
Poule Two: And with new-found strength, the boy set about trying his hardest to get a point. this time 5 opponents stood in his way. The first match ended 0-5 and our hopes for a happy boy were fading fast. Next match and the boy fought back, it took him about 30 seconds into the two-minute match but he scored a point. Dad and I shouted in unison, and the boy was grinning from ear to ear. We were so proud of him, and I apologised to the other Mum for being loud. We quietened down, as the boy went 1-1. It didn’t matter as he had scored a point, and this could be made into a positive. Then 1-2, then 2-2. You could cut the air in our corner with a knife! end of time, priority was called in the boys favour. This was good, if the other boy didn’t attack in the next one minute, our boy would be declared the winner. We didn’t need to worry as the boy scored, taking the win 2-3! Dad and I both had tears in our eyes, and we are so proud that he had found the strength from somewhere to win.
The boy went on to lose the next 1-5, followed by a 4-0 victory and a 1-4 loss. But it didn’t matter, winning that one match was just amazing to watch. The other parents watching were lovely too, and one of the mum’s told me how good she thought he was. How well he did against her son who is a leftie (and more difficult to fight) and that she thought he would go on to do well next year.
The judges were all great two supporting the kids, and helping to patch up more than a few bruised egos. The boy went on to fight a DE match which is knockout, and unfortunately met up with a kid who had beaten him in the first pool. This didn’t matter as he showed great courage in going against him, and made him work hard for every point scored.
I know that I will always be biased when it comes to my boy, but that is how it should be. I was however most impressed by the support that each of the three boys gave one another. When the boy didn’t want to talk to me, he went and talked to them. They knew how each other felt, and were all amazing. The other two boys did well, and all forged their own little achievements. Mr R scored points on a boy who is ranked 5 in the country. Mr B who has only been fencing for one term managed to win lots of his fights and at one point ranked 27!
I am now the proud Mum to a British ranked fencer, and yes he comes up on Google! with a very credible 45. When is the next competition,? Well it turns out in just over two weeks, and yes he wants to go and try again. So lets see what happens, but he is still young, and its all about learning, and having some fun at the same time.