The RTWFC calendar features a number of regular competitions for fencers of (almost) all ages and all abilities
RTWFC runs tiered electric junior competitions during its popular Sunday club session. Three times a term, fencers in each of the three electric ‘tiers’ fence the other members of their tier to five points. A running ranking list is posted on the club’s notice board and Facebook page after each round. The top three fencers at the end of the term in each tier will receive prizes.
Besides the tiered competitions, RTWFC usually runs age-grouped competitions once-a-term on Saturdays, at which club members fence participants from local schools. These competitions, known as TWISTs, feature team fencing in the morning and individual fencing in the afternoon. The TWISTs are devised as friendly and fun first or second competitions outside of a typical club or school fencing session, but without the pressure of an ‘open’ competition. They are suitable for novices (less than two years of fencing) and intermediates (fencers who haven’t won a medal at an open or been ranked inside the top 50 for their weapon nationally – most of us, in other words). For TWIST FAQs, click here.
In the autumn, RTWFC welcomes fencers from local clubs – along with the odd overseas invader – to its popular SPITFIRE invitational team competition. Teams of three (+1 sub) compete in 5-7 rounds of bouts to determine who finishes on top of the podium. The winners take away the Steven Paul Cup, which is awarded in the memory of our long-term Head Coach and all-round superstar who passed away in April 2019.
Additionally, once a year we hold our Club Championships, which is also age-grouped and is generally open to those 10 and over (although we do make exceptions for experienced fencers of 9 years old).
For younger fencers, there are several county, regional and national-level competitions which take place within striking distance of Tunbridge Wells. For example, there are under 16 and 18 county epee championships in Kent, age-group regional- and national-level competitions such as the Elite Epee Junior Series events held in Surrey (under 12, 14 & 17), the Leon Paul Junior Series (under 9, 11, 14 & 15) and the British Youth Championship regional qualifiers (under 12, 14, 16 & 18). Furthermore, there are British Ranking Competition (BRC) Cadet (under 17 years old) and Junior (under 20 years old) events in the London area and beyond. National rankings are given for under 14s in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland, and under 17s and 20s at British level.
Building competition experience is best done step by step, gradually ascending the rungs of difficulty. Ideally, then, you’ll start with club (including TWIST) events, then county and regional competitions, then onto Leon Paul and Elite events, the home country youth champs and the British Youth Championships (if you’ve qualified via the regional champs). Cadets and Juniors with international ambitions need to focus on the BRCs around the country and the national championships in order to climb the rankings ladder and work towards representing Great Britain. Ask your coach about which comps count towards ranking points in the various schemes.
Senior fencers (aged 13 and over) can enter opens – hopefully scoring points towards national senior rankings. Locally, the two most established opens are the Invicta in Canterbury (usually held in March) and the Sussex Open (held in the autumn). Not too far afield are the Elite Epee events in Surrey and the Leon Paul opens – these are generally a step up from the opens mentioned above (as is the national champs). Notable opens around the country are: the Cambridge Winter Tournament, Merseyside Open Fencing Tournament, Birmingham International, and the Chichester and Cardiff opens.
Veterans – those aged 40+ – have their own events and age-grouped events to get stuck into. Guildford and London have been the two most recent locations of vets events. Vets also get the chance to be selected for the GB team.
Details of upcoming competitions can be found by visiting the following pages:
National Level: http://www.britishfencing.com/events/
Country Level: http://englandfencing.co.uk
South East Region: http://www.southeastregionfencing.org.uk
For local county websites with event (competitions) calendars, please also see:
www.SurreyFencing.com (Surrey includes most of South West London for this)
www.KentFencing.org.uk (Kent includes most of South East London for this)
There are also event, club and special interest websites, many linked from the above.