Fencing fun leads to a national place for Hannah

Fencing star Hannah Nesbitt, from Cullercoats.

Fencing star Hannah Nesbitt, from Cullercoats.

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A CULLERCOATS girl who tried the sport of fencing for fun just over two years ago has now been selected to represent Great Britain in an international competition.

The accomplished sword play of Hannah Nesbitt secured her a place in the national squad when she took the bronze medal at the National Women’s Under-17 Cadet Epee Championships at Sheffield earlier this month.

The 15-year-old, who is a stellar performer at Newcastle Fencing Club, will now compete for GB in the women’s under-17 gadet class at Heidenheim in Germany on November 11.

Coach Iain Aberdeen said: “Hannah trains extremely hard, putting in over 15 hours of quality training per week, and despite only taking up fencing two and a half years ago she has steadily risen through the national rankings.

“Her hard work and commitment has started to pay off.”

Hannah, a Year 11 pupil at King’s School, Tynemouth, said: “I first tried fencing while at a camp with the guides in France.

“It was great fun and different to all the other sports I’ve done.

“I won the fun guides competition and found I had ability as a fencer.

“Fencing is a great way to keep fit. I enjoy the mental agility required to outwit an opponent as much as the physical skills. It’s a bit like chess with a sword.

“I knew I was in the running for one of the 12 places on the national team, but I had to perform well at Sheffield because the competition was strong with many older fencers competing, so I was really happy when I gained my place.

“I’m looking forward to competing in Germany and I’m training hard with my club in Newcastle. I also train in King’s sports hall which has great lighting so it’s excellent for blade work.”

Hannah received a Talented Sports Performer award from North Tyneside Council recently and was recognised by Sport Newcastle for her achievements, representing England in Poland earlier this year.