Sports Spotlight: UKC Fencing

Photography by Cassandra Barnard

The Men's 1st won the BUCS conference cup, the Women's 1st and Men's 2nd both won the league and the club won two out of the four awards they were nominated for at the Team Kent Ball, UKC Fencing have sure had a successful year. InQuire spoke with the following committee members of the club: president of the club Patrick, whose main weapon is foil and has been fencing since he was eleven. Club Secretary Phillip, who fences sabra and has been fencing for three years. And Carolina, who fences with all three weapons on the Women's Team. 1. Who has the season gone so far? Carolina: Where to begin! Well the Women's Team, we've won our league. We did pretty well in our cup, reached semi-finals and came 3rd or 4th, depending on the points. There were some amazing individual achievements for a lot of the team also. There are difference levels of fencing, novis, intermediate and advanced, and I think we've placed in all of the categories. We had a big competition in Paris, and a part of the women's team won the entire competition and another part of the women's team in a different weapon came third. So, very big achievements! I think we have the biggest women's team that we've had in the history of the club of about nine or ten. Patrick: The Men's 1st Team is currently top of 2A, but we are waiting for the UCL game to see if that goes our way. We are BUCS conference cup champions. We beat UCL two weeks ago in Brunel, which was good fun. It has been a good team this year, there is only five of us so it's a tight team. But three of us on the team have been doing it since first year together so we've had three full seasons of matches. Phillip: The Men's 2nd team debuted in 3A this year, and after two losses, we regrouped and have since won every single match and have taken the league.

Photography by Cassandra Barnard

2. What is it about your club that brings you to victory? Carolina: We have such good team dynamics! We work together really well in this supportive environment. We've seen in away matches how other teams get on with each other, and it surprises to see that they're not always super friendly. It's so important to have a happy team. That's our biggest strength. Patrick: It's a close neat team for the Men's 1s, the experience of the teams is what is keeping us doing well. Phillip: For the Men's 2s, it's sear spirit. Even when we were loosing at the

beginning, we still remained with high hopes. It's spirit.

3. What is the social side like to your club? Carolina: We have a really good time! The other week, we had two matches and we went to the super spoons with a lot of people, and had such a fun time. It keeps the club happy. Everyone gets along. Patrick: We keep it varied. It is demanding going out every week, so we try to have pizza or movies nights, big christmas dinners, we do go out and have fancy dress. Carolina: It's great to do it after a great achievement! If we did it every week, I don't know how good we'd be at fencing all the time. Because it is exhuasting. 4. How do you cope with a defeat? Patrick: We've only had one each. UCL beat us, which was crushing but we had the cup to focus on. But then we beat them at Brunel. Carolina: But it was hard to get over, because we only by one point that we lost. That was tough. It still strings little, but we've won the league. Because it was at the beginning, we were still positive because we could turn it around. We were so motivated to win the second match against the team that beat us before, and we smashed it which was really nice. Phillip: After our two losses, we brought even more spirit to the game. It was our first time fencing in BUCS, our first second team ever in BUCS. It was great to win the league regardless.

Photography from Kent Union Activities

5. Have you done much for the charity side of sport? Patrick: We got involved in the uniboob dodgeball team, for Coppafeel. We hosted it last year and we hosted it this year with Kickboxing. Carolina: We had a women's session for This Kent Girl Can as well. Patrick: We raised £500 for Movember as well, which is good for a small club. 6. Do your women's and men's teams gel well together? Carolina: Well we are one club, so we train together all the team. Patrick: It's seperated by gender for games, but anyone can join the actual club. Man or women, you can do fencing. All the teams fence each other and train together. Carolina: We do mixed team at some competitions. Patrick: Women are more technical, whereas men's is more physical. 7. If any freshers were to approach you in regards to Fencing, what would you say to them to entice them to join the club? Carolina: Being on a team is one of the greatest experiences you will ever have, because it is so much fun. It's made my uni experience amazing. If you like being competitive and make friends, then fencing is perfect. Patrick: We are so accessible. It is £60 for a membership, we have all the kit, all the coaching with that price. Ease of progression is great as well. Carolina: It's a very diverse club, you will find your people. 8. Having a look at the Team Kent awards, you have done incredibly well. What does it mean to you to win these awards? Carolina: The women's team won Team of the Year, which is incredible as I play for that team. Patrick: Being nominated for Club of the year after winning it the last two years is incredible. Our treasurer was also nominated for treasurer of the year. And also winning Sportman of the year was amazing. Winning it was the highlight of my three years at Kent. I've given my everything to my sport and my club these last few years, so thsis reward means more to me than my degree. It's a real honour and I'm truly humbled".

Captain of the women's Ash gave InQuire a quote on her win, stating "this year the women's team won the league SE1A which makes me really proud. Without all their hard work, we wouldn't have been able to get this award!"

If you interested on seeing more of UKC Fencing, head to their Instagram page at @ukcfencing.

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