NEW! Fencing at Okehampton College – Autumn 2017

Juniors’ sessions 6-11’s and 12-18’s

OCRA fencing and archery dayWest Devon Swords will be running two new fencing sessions at Okehampton College from 19th Sept. 2017.

Sports fencing with all equipment provided; group and individual lessons, Olympic-style electric fencing. All abilities welcome.

When: Tuesdays from 19 Sept 2017
• 3.30-4.45 for 12-18yrs
• 5-6:15 for 6-11yrs
Venue: Okehampton College Sports Hall
Who it’s aimed at: juniors, teens and young adults of all abilities
Cost: £4.50 per session (£4.00 when paid per term block)
Contact: Robin Catling 07956 409818 or westdevonswords@gmail.com

In praise of plastic

WDS at Dartington Community Dayby Robin Catling.

From Pirates of the Caribbean, to Star Wars and even Transformers, it seems every other movie poster features a character with a sword; there’s been a slew of TV and online ads featuring Olympic fencers in action, TV shows such as Arrow and the Musketeers keep the skill and the romance of the sword alive. It’s no wonder even the smallest children want to give it a try. …

Juniors Coaching and Development Plan

Juniors coachingUnder the Coaching and Development Plan 2009, we now run our Juniors sessions along the following lines:

  • Please note the given start time for each session and arrive promptly

The new format will consist of:

  • 5-10 min warm-up (no kit)
  • 5-10 min footwork (no kit)

(kit on)

  • 20 min group lesson: technique and tactics, blade-work
  • 1 hour individual lessons (we will be maintaining a lesson register for 1-to-1′s to ensure fairness
  • BFA Gradings
  • ‘House League’ bouts (with an end of term points system)
  • freeplay / preparation for competitions

We have several aims in doing this:

  • Make more productive use of the time we have with Juniors
  • Beginners achieve minimum of BFA Grade 1 foil before admission to club membership.
  • Ensure all Juniors can attend any club or age competition in the country and be of a standard for their age group
  • Set-up and maintain lesson register for 1-to-1′s
  • Begin ‘House teams’ competition in preparation for age-group competitions

As Club policy we put new beginners through the 6-week course to qualify for membership before joining the main session.

Why Fencing for Juniors?

OCRA Summer SchoolTime and again we see the youngsters who don’t do well in mainstream team sports take to fencing with real enthusiasm.

Younger pupils often get involved in the sport because of its swashbuckling image, then continue with it once they realise how much technique and skill is involved.

It is good for children because it really helps them develop agility and co-ordination. The boys learn how to channel their aggression, whilst the girls often find a physical competitive streak not seen before!

West Devon Swords has a thriving core of pre-teen and teen devotees and fencing obviously does wonders for their poise and self-confidence.

Fencing is one of the activities to count toward Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which several of our juniors have completed over the years.

What age IS Junior in fencing?

Juniors fencingIn centuries past, children started, learning combat skills from the time they could walk, but in the context of a modern sport, there is such a thing as too young.

The children’s class we run is a mixed age, mixed ability group. There is a recommendation from the FIE (fencing governing body) that age 8 is a suitable age to join in group classes, both for safety’s sake and for beginning productive lessons. That’s the minimum age we’ve tended to start kids at Sway and in other classes we have run in the area.