Young Fencer Wilfred Takes Bronze at British Youth Championships!

In an impressive performance at the British Youth Championships (BYCs) fencing competition, first-year A Level student Wilfred Houston-Brown took home the bronze medal in the U18 Men’s Épée event. The competition, which was held on Monday 1st May at the EIS (English Institute of Sport) in Sheffield, saw Wilfred also competing against older and more experienced fencers. 

The British Youth Championships (BYCs) is a highly prestigious event in the fencing calendar, and it’s no surprise that Wilfred was thrilled to have taken part in it. The BYCs are a 24-event competition, with events in four age groups (U12s, U14s, U16s, and U18s) for all three weapons. This means fencers of all ages and skill levels can compete and showcase their talents nationally. 

To qualify for the BYCs, fencers must first compete in Regional Qualifying Events (RQEs), which are held by each region. The top fencers from each region then go on to compete in the BYCs, making it a truly national event that brings together the best young fencers from across the UK. 

Despite being in his first year in that age group and having just turned 17, Wilfred put on a strong display of fencing skill and determination. He was up against tough competition, but he more than held his own and managed to secure a third placed podium result in his event. 

Speaking after the competition, Wilfred expressed delight at his achievement, saying,

I’m very pleased to have won the bronze medal. It was a challenging competition, and I was up against some experienced fencers, but I kept my focus and gave it my all. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved.”

Wilfred’s success at the BYCs demonstrates his dedication and hard work in the sport and even more impressive is the fact that he is also juggling his academic studies taking A Levels in History, Geography and English Literature alongside his fencing training and competitions. Wilfred has trained at the Four of Clubs fencing club since he was eight years old. He also credits the support he receives from the college’s Elite Scholarship Programme, which is run in partnership with Staffordshire University, for helping him to balance his academic commitments with his sporting ambitions. 

The Elite Scholarship Programme is available to all students who compete at county standard or above in any sport. The programme provides a range of benefits to help support student-athletes, including free gym membership, sports therapy support, performance screening, and specifically designed workshops delivered by Staffordshire University lecturers. 

Speaking about the support he has received from the Elite Scholarship Programme, Wilfred said,

The programme has been helping me to balance my studies with my training and competing. The free gym membership and sports therapy support have been particularly useful in keeping me in top physical condition, and the workshops have provided me with valuable insights into sports science and performance analysis. 

Wilfred’s bronze medal at the BYCs is a testament not only to his fencing coaches and his own dedication to the sport, but also to the support he has received from the Elite Scholarship Programme. It’s clear that this programme is making a real difference in the lives of student-athletes, helping them to achieve their full potential both in sport and in their academic studies.