Ben Usher
Term 2 has seen mixed fortunes for Brunel Fencing; whilst the club has leapt from strength to strength, its competitive endeavours have failed to match up to the heroics of last year. In recent months the men’s and women’s teams have continued to plough away in the BUCS leagues, with women’s 1st undergoing a marked improvement upon term one with the addition of several new members providing fresh impetus and belief, as well as several wins.
Men’s 2nd, in their first year of existence, have also competed admirably, holding off the league stragglers to clinch a respectable seventh place out of nine teams. The men’s 1st on the other hand have had an end-of-season to forget, losing three key matches to extinguish all pre-season hopes of the league title and relinquish their hold on the South East Conference Cup. Not the happiest bunch of fencers.

The BUCS individuals also saw mixed success for Brunel Fencing. With the reigning BUCS sabre champion, Soji Aiyenuro, away fencing for Great Britain at a World Cup (suppose we can’t hold too much of a grudge), it was damage limitation in terms of gaining BUCS points. In the event, not much success was seen during the Championships with the best results courtesy of Nuno Esteves’s number 1 ranking after poules (followed by a shock last 32 defeat) in men’s sabre, and a last 16 by Constance Goulletquer in women’s sabre. However, despite the disappointing results the weekend remained a triumph with a number of new members and novices able to experience the BUCS weekend together, gaining valuable competition experience and posting some impressive scores along the way.

Brunel Fencing however is about more than just competition. This term has seen the club continue to improve on its ability to deliver value for money to its members through increasing membership numbers, expanded training and coaching opportunities, the opening of the club shop (finally!), and the launch of the Spring Competition. As socials come thick and fast, the club is also providing other avenues to engage with our members through internal competitions, encouragement to get involved with University activities, and the launching of a new community partnership involving Hillingdon Musketeers Fencing Club. This new initiative has seen an expanded Friday training session where Brunel and Hillingdon train and fence together, utilising extra space and greater competition, shared equipment and coaches to help develop our personal fencing, whilst also promoting fencing as a sport in the wider community.

Though early days the joint venture is already showing a degree of success, with Brunel and Hillingdon fencers coming together to fence off in foil in our (friendly) Spring Competition, with one of own, Kane Wang, taking the title. As a club we’re very optimistic of continuing this partnership into the future, using it to help develop the sport in the local area whilst reinforcing our already strong foundation within the University sports scene.
All in all, whilst we might be maintaining our tag as the perpetual BUCS runner up with unintentional, unfortunate, and unwanted success, as a club Brunel Fencing continues to perform and deliver on the highest stage.