RTWFC turns the Regional Championships royal blue

A 22-strong RTWFC team put in a record performance for the club at the South East Regional Championships in Burgess Hill on 5th February, with 11 medals and 16 qualifiers for the British Youth Championships in Sheffield later this year.

Serial medallists Benedict Graham, Lloyd Osborne, Eilidh Paterson and Izzie D’Abbraccio once again strode proudly onto the podium, but another seven club-mates joined them as RTWFC’s team spirit proved to be both infectious and inspiring.

The U12 boys got the medal mayhem underway, with all three lions – Dean Gigg, James Dunmall and Roy Ching – making it onto the podium; silver-medallist Dean just missed out on gold by one agonising point.

Club big gun Benedict Graham also fell just one short of bagging gold in U18 boys final, losing to fellow GB fencer George Hills 15-14 in a high-quality final; GB team-mate Miles Raymond took bronze, having superbly knocked out GB cadet Oliver Barlow in the quarter-final. Lloyd Osborne, RTWFC’s other ‘GB boy’, took a hard-earned silver in the U16 boys event.

In the girls U16 category, the royal blue takeover of the podium continued, with Andrea Ross finishing 2nd, and Hannah Taylor and Annabelle Lavin sharing 3rd place. Team-mates Hiba Rochdi and Daisy Beadsworth, in 5th and 10th respectively, also qualified for the BYCs, making it an incredible five out of five qualifiers for RTWFC in this age group.

The club’s superstar U14 girls got their feet on the podium too, Eilidh Paterson and Izzie D’Abbraccio securing silver and bronze respectively – having demonstrated their vast potential once again.

Seraphine Mathew (5th, U12 girls), Alec Hargreaves (9th, U14 boys) and Zach Bench (13th, U16 boys) also performed strongly and bagged themselves BYC berths as well.

Gabriel Lam, Laurie Briggs, an injured Sergey Khlemanov, and debutants Harry Gigg, Aubrey Cassleton Elliott and Joanna Szarowicz all scored victories, conducted themselves admirably and will come back stronger next time.

Commenting on the club’s success, chairman Martin Briggs said: “A few years ago we were barely on the map at the competitions but now we have a vibrant, competitive and friendly youth squad. Every time we go out we get closer and closer to the gold medal positions.”

Although RTWFC didn’t win a gold this time, last year’s regional ‘cup haul’ of four – one gold, one silver and two bronzes – was almost tripled this time to 11, and qualifiers more than doubled from 7 to 16. Kings Canterbury, which has three full-time coaches and an extensive fencing programme, topped the medal table with four golds, but overall scooped eight medals with a team of 42 fencers (one medal for every five entries); no other team won more than two medals. Nineteen Kings fencers – 45 per cent of their team – qualified for Sheffield, compared to 73 per cent for RTWFC, for which – incredibly – one out of every two entries won a medal.


Full results

(Q) = Qualified for BYCs


U12 (9 entrants)

🥈Dean Gigg (Q)

🥉James Dunmall (Q)

🥉Roy Ching (Q)

U14 (31)

9th Alec Hargreaves (Q)

19th Gabriel Lam

20th Laurie Briggs

29th Harry Gigg

U16 (29)

🥈Lloyd Osborne (Q)

13th Zach Bench (Q)

23rd Sergey Khlemanov

28th Aubrey Cassleton Elliott

U18 (23)

🥈Benedict Graham (Q)

🥉Miles Raymond (Q)


U12 (7)

5th Seraphine Mathew (Q)

U14 (9)

🥈Eilidh Paterson (Q)

🥉Izzie D’Abbraccio (Q)

U16 (24)

🥈Andrea Ross (Q)

🥉Hannah Taylor (Q)

🥉Anabelle Lavin (Q)

5th Hiba Rochdi (Q)

10th Daisy Beadsworth (Q)

U18 (21)

18th Joanna Szarowicz

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