Our Coaches

Pierre Harper
Academy U12 Gold Winners 2013S

Linda and Pierre flanking two of their recently successful younger fencers

Lin & Pierre Prior Seoul Olympics 1988

Lin & Pierre Prior to the Seoul Olympics 1988

Represented GB at several junior and senior internationals and World Championships. Pierre also took six National Senior Foil Titles, was Commonwealth gold medallist three times and competed in the individual and team foil events at the 1980 Moscow1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics

Pierre celebrated 25 years of coaching in Sept 2013

His coaching career has been equally successful having taken a total of fifteen Newham and Cambridge Swords fencers from grass roots to GB international level, and a further six to England International standard.

Newham’s current top fencers not only hold the current U17 and U20 National Foil titles, but have also won various Premier and Leon Paul Junior Series competitions, as well as trophies at the EYCs, BYCs, BSC Cadet and Junior Foil events, Junior Commonwealths and UK School Games

Here is YouTube vid of Pierre fencing in the 1983 Paris Martini

Linda Strachan (also club manager)

An Olympian who competed in the women’s foil events at the 1988

 Linda Strachan BEM 2015

Linda Strachan BEM 2015

Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics she shares the coaching successes of Newham’s fencers and develops talent from the younger fencers of the future.

Linda and Pierre travel the country and the world supporting their fencers at competitions at all levels.

Here is a link to an interview with Linda published in the Daily Telegraph in 2006  Reviving the Art of Fencing

In 2015 Linda was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to sport in the community in recognition of her dedication and commitment to her dream from founding the club in 2005  

Andrew Nisbet

Picture of fencing coach, Andrew Nisbet

Andrew in severe pose for a National Portrait Gallery Olympics legacy project

Started fencing at age 11 after watching Zorro (the 1950’s series…) and to “get out of football”. That didn’t work but he became the first in his school to earn fencing colours. It also started a life time of fun and rewarding work with young people as well as adults.

Qualifying as a Level 2 Foil coach in 2011 he now coaches at a number of clubs in south east London and does display and taster sessions in schools and colleges introducing a new generation to the ‘hidden sport’.

He is known for his rapid impartment of fencing skills and some non-traditional methods but also the ‘get it right first time’ school of training. “It takes 5000 repetitions to learn a new skill but 15,000 to correct a bad habit” is his favourite phrase.

He offers his skills as a Journeyman armourer to fencers and parents advising on and maintaining equipment and provides an armoury service at competitions. He also builds custom weapons using the components from different sources aiming for longevity, reliability and ‘blade feel’.

He is on the Committees of Kent County Amateur Fencing Union, England Fencing London Region and is Treasurer and Coach at Blackheath Fencing Club now one of the larger clubs in south east London.

Without mentioning websites at all, where he applies 30 years of IT Project Management and programming skills.