Blades seek new fencers

Bridlington Blades fencing club
Bridlington Blades fencing club

Bridlington Blades fencing club are hoping they won’t be foiled as they look to find new members.

The club, which meets once a week, is looking to find new fencers, and insist it is a sport suitable for anyone aged from eight to 88.

Proof of that is 81-year-old Joy Fleetham, who believes she is the oldest fencer in Yorkshire and who is leading the rallying call to get more people to try the sport.

“I like to give encouragement to all age groups,” she said.

“We do a great job giving young people a place to go and getting them off the streets.We have put a lot of people on the right road.

“We don’t turn anybody away, regardless of their age or ability.”

To try to get more people to give fencing a go, the club is offering the first session free to newcomers, and all equipment, including plenty of brand new stock, is provided.

The club has around 20 members, and four more adults have signed up recently, but the hunt is on to find more recruits.

“I’m not into other sports and I was 63 when I first started, but I took to it like a duck to water,” said Joy.

“It’s such a wonderful sport for everybody and we are a very friendly club. I just love it.”

As she approaches 20 years involved with the club, Joy’s fencing exploits have seen her attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace and receive an invitation to 10 Downing Street.

She has achieved grade six on foil, grade two in epee and grade one in sabre.

“It keeps me fit. It is good gentle exercise and you can do it at your own pace.

“Some of our young fencers go to other clubs for competitions, but you don’t have to,” added Joy.

She said that it was an ideal sport for parents looking for a sport they could learn alongside their children, as men compete against women, and juniors can have bouts against adults.

Coaches at the club are first aid qualified and have child protection certificates.

“Give it a try. I had never done it before I was 63 so if I can do it, anybody can.”

Children aged over eight are welcome to attend,

The club meets at Bridlington Sports Centre in Gypsey Road on Thursdays between 7pm and 9pm, during term time.

They are hoping to move to the new Leisure World when it opens next year.