Lowestoft woman, with Gorleston and Norwich links, prepares to make her England fencing debut

Tracy Russen prepares to wear her England outfit with "pride" as she gears up to make her debut for

Tracy Russen prepares to wear her England outfit with "pride" as she gears up to make her debut for the England fencing veterans team this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED. - Credit: Archant

A Lowestoft woman expressed her 'pride' this week after being selected to represent England – just six years after first starting a sport she has gone on to 'adore.'

Tracy Russen, who runs a family business in Gorleston called Sentiments, will head to Dublin to make her international debut fencing for England in the veterans four nations championship tomorrow (Saturday).

The 44-year-old said: 'I first started fencing with the Great Yarmouth and Waveney when I was 38, when a friend asked me along. I thought of it as a social thing, and the first week went OK but by week three I was hooked.'

Having never looked back from that moment on, Mrs Russen now represents AFFONDO in Norwich, and also fences at the Norfolk Fencing Club. She trains twice a week as well as going to the gym two or three times a week.

She added: 'Firstly I thought it would be great for my fitness, but I then wanted more and realised that yes I wanted the competitive side and this took over and after all the hard work, effort and time put in at 44 I was selected to represent England, which is such an honour and a privilege.'

Once you turn 40 you are eligible to join British veterans fencing, and as Mrs Russen competes on the circuit regularly, she was selected for the three-women Sabre team following her results at the age group qualifiers and the veterans British championships held earlier this year.

And looking forward to competing in this team event this weekend, she said: 'I look forward to wearing my England kit with pride on Saturday and I shall be staying on to cheer on the other teams on the Sunday as the epee and foil events take place.

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'I cannot express enough of how I feel but it is an absolute honour, privilege and pride to be representing your country and I shall with absolute pride be wearing RUSSEN ENG on my back for the women's veteran team sabre.'

She added: 'Fencing for me is a passion and I love and want more. It offers mind and body work-out, either fencing for fun and if you want to take it further you can compete in the UK or even travel abroad if you choose. I have never looked back and try never to miss a week.

'I discovered fencing by accident but it is now my passion and I adore it. Fencing offers you to do the best you can and whichever way you want to take it – either just for fun and fitness, sociable or competitive, have fun and enjoy. Yes it can be frustrating at times too – but I love it and everything fencing stands for.'