Rising sword star Lucy-Belle Williamson has made British fencing history by becoming the first under-10 to win gold in two weapons in the British Youth Championships.
Lucy-Belle, from Earby, decided to compete in the Sabre event after winning gold in the Epee Championships held in Northamptonshire. Following Last year’s victory in the Epee Championship, Lucy-Belle returned to defend her title in Oxford and did so with a magnificent performance, ending the final with a clear 10-1 victory.
Lucy-Belle has had a fantastic start to the season, winning all of the national competitions that she has entered and also retaining her Yorkshire championship title.
As planned, Lucy-Belle began fencing internationally this year and recently returned from her first competition in Poland. Determined to develop her fencing, Lucy-Belle has taken advice from senior British Fencing officials and coaches to gain as much experience of international fencing as possible.
Lucy-Belle will soon be fighting for another British Championship title, this time using her preferred weapon – foil. Last year she won a bronze medal but is determined to improve on that performance.
In fact, it is her goal to be British Champion of all three fencing disciplines in the same year, a feat that has never been achieved before. Once the championships are over, Lucy-Belle will then begin preparing for a return to Europe later in the year for more international competitions.
Fencing is a very expensive sport and Lucy-Belle’s parents are going to be seeking sponsorship and support for Lucy-Belle so that she can continue to develop and attend the international competitions, each one costing around £600.
It is not just the cost of travel, but also equipment worn to protect against injury, and the cost of replacing the steel blades which sometimes snap.
So what’s the attraction of fencing for Lucy-Belle? “I love the speed and tactics which are used to try and defeat my opponents,” she says. “They are trying to hit me while I try to hit them.
“Sometimes, I think about a move that I could do but know that I am not yet good enough to do it. I have to be so focused because fencing is so fast and if my mind slips for one moment I will get hit.
“It is a battle, using nearly every muscle in my body and my brain to try and make my opponent think I am going to do one thing when I do something different.”