It may be early in the year, with the competitive season barely begun, but Brunel Fencing, already a major player in the BUCS league, is aiming ever higher.
After the success of the 2013-14 season; with our men's team knocking down all obstacles on their way to cup victory, and our UK number 2, Soji Aiyenuro, smashing aside the competition at BUCS to take the trophy, the club committee sat down and asked themselves: how do we provide a club that focuses on beginners but with the drive to succeed?
The answer was simple, and has come in the form of the establishment of a second men's team. While the club continues to provide an environment for all abilities, with a focus primarily on beginners, we have been able to set up a competitive team of like-minded, ambitious fencers hoping to develop their abilities and become an established force in the league, along with causing a few upsets along the way.
While our Men's 2nd team look to consolidate their league position and avoid relegation; always the aim for a newly created team, the Men's 1st are looking further afield. With Brunel Fencing currently home to a team and individual trophy, the retention of both is a natural goal. However, our ambitions drive us onwards and upwards; again in search of the league win and promotion that has eluded us for the past few seasons.
With the 1st team arguably stronger than ever, there is no better time for it to finally achieve its goal, and they've started out in style. With an entertaining and exciting match-up against Brunel 2nd in their first fixture, the 1st team prevailed 135-60. Though a league fixture, the match was fought in good spirits, with Brunel 2nd setting down a marker for the rest of the year that there will be no easy fights.
Brunel 1st's next league fixture brought them up against Sussex 2nd. Though a predominantly beginner team, there was all to play for and, without stretching themselves, the 1sts threw down a challenge to the rest of the league by winning convincingly 135-48.
Unfortunately, despite the Men's teams' bright starts, our Women's team have struggled during their initial fixtures. Having been forced to forfeit their first match to Sussex 1st due to circumstances beyond their control, they were then beaten comfortably by a strong Kings College London team who will be potential challengers for this year's league title. However, despite the disappointing results, silver linings have shone through as a team fielding relative beginners performed admirably against tough opposition, notably Danielle Clahar-Raymond.
Finally, to end on a positive note, despite her team struggles, our women's captain, Constance Goulletquer, managed to put it behind her recently with an impressive gold medal-winning performance in sabre at the Leon Paul Novice Open. Accompanied by Ben Woolley, proud recipient of a bronze medal for his part in the Open's foil competition, the two have set an example for the rest of the club to follow, and have proved once again that with a little bit of hard work and commitment, and a genuine enjoyment of their sport, most goals are possible.
Brunel Fencing is committed to providing a friendly, welcoming environment for students of all abilities, with fun training sessions, competitive opportunities and regular socials all part of the winning formula. Interested? Find us on Facebook, visit our website - http://brunelfencing.weebly.com/ - or come along to a training session and try the sport for free.