Young Lowestoft fencer earns a spot at British youth championships

Adam Barnard, 17, from Lowestoft has qualified for the British Youth Championship Finals in fencing.

Adam Barnard, 17, from Lowestoft has qualified for the British Youth Championship Finals in fencing. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Lowestoft teenager will represent Suffolk at the British Fencing youth championships.

Adam Barnard, 17, became a member of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Fencing Club after taking part in taster sessions with his scout group.

It was there that club coach Rob Johnson recognised Adam's talent for the sport, and invited him to some beginners classes. Eight gold, nine silver and three bronze medals later and the Lowestoft Sixth Form student has earned a spot at the British Youth Championship Finals to be held in Sheffield in April.

He qualified after coming third in the Under 18s foil fencing category at the Eastern Region Youth Championships.

He said: 'For six years I had come close to qualifying, but never quite got there.

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'I am absolutely overjoyed. I didn't think about it before, I just thought this is the next match and before I knew it I was in the quarter finals.

'It was my New Year's resolution to make the nationals, and if I do really well there is the possibility I could get noticed by the GB coaches.'

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There are three types of fencing weapons - foil, epee and sabre - each with their own rules and target areas. Adam mostly uses a foil in his competitions.

Adam and his family attended the London 2012 Olympic Games to watch fencing, and after that he realised his dream to progress with the sport.

'It was just incredible and the atmosphere was amazing,' he said. 'I could see how much work I would have to put in to get to that stage and that was the turning point for me.

'I just love doing it because it is totally different to any other sport and it is quite physical. There's a mental side to it too which I enjoy.'

Adam's dad Keith is a social member at the club, which meets at Ormiston Denes Community Sports Centre. Mum Tracy is also a fan of the sport and travels to cheer him on at competitions.

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