Newham Swords received two important awards today (9th January 2016) at the Eden Cup competition in London.
Pierre Harper received the British Fencing Silver award for his outstanding work in coaching and to fencing generally from British Fencing President Hilary Philbin and Ziemek Wojciechowski, British Olympic coach for many years, presented Alice Campbell with a cheque from the Susan Wojciechowska Fund for being the most improved female cadet foilist.
Pierre, Head Coach of top junior fencing club, Newham Swords, has now been involved in the sport (as a coach and fencer) for just over 50 years. During that time he has produced a total of twenty five internationals who have gone on to win titles at national cadet and junior level as well as titles at Senior and Junior Commonwealth Games, as well as at Cadet and Junior Europeans.
His most recent success was coaching Paul Wedge to Gold in the Men’s Foil Individual at the last World Veteran Championships as well as Gold and Silver in the Men’s Foil Individual with Paul Wedge and Tony Bartlett, at the last European Veteran Championships.
His Award comes just after his partner’s (Linda Strachan), BEM Award in November.
“I am very pleased and proud to receive such an Award from British Fencing. I would like to thank them for all the opportunities which they have given me as a fencer and coach, and now look forward to helping more individuals achieve success”, said Pierre.
Alice joined Newham Swords at the age of 8, in the Mini Fence class. After working hard with Olympic fencers, Linda Strachan and Pierre Harper, Alice has been able to win LPJS titles, medals at the BYCs and EYCS (British and English Youth Championships) as well as compete for England at U15 level and at the Cadet Commonwealth Games.
This season, she was selected to compete for GB at both cadet and junior level and managed to gain the top junior result at the Junior World Cup held in Romania. Her biggest achievement this season was gaining top place in the Junior Women’s Foil Rankings in October.
“I am so pleased with this award, it will help immensely. Thank you, Ziemek. I would also like to thank my coaches, Pierre Harper and Linda Strachan who have given so much of their time to help me get to where I am now”.
Susan Wojciechowska (née Wrigglesworth) was the youngest Olympic female foilist in the history of British fencing.
At the age of 18 she fenced in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Susan made World Youth final and came 13th in the individual Olympic event in Montreal in 1976 and competed in Moscow 1980.
She represented Great Britain at every world championships from 1973 to 1981. She achieved remarkable results without any funding demonstrating the degree of her natural ability.
While still being an active fencer she was diagnosed with a brain tumour which ended her life prematurely. Sue was very popular in the British fencing community for her modesty and support to everyone.
While being ill she established the local fencing club “Finchley Foil” which has produced outstanding fencers like Ben Montague, Richard Kruse, Laurence Halsted and James Davis.
In memory of Sue a group of fencers created a fund in her name to help the most improved cadet female foilist.