Two Durham students bound for five nations championships
(21 March 2005)
Two Durham students will be fencing on ‘home ground’ this year when they represent their country in the Five Nations Fencing Championships, hosted by the University’s own sports centre at Maiden Castle.
But Naomi Lee (Trevelyan, Engineering) and Philippa Stewart, (Van Mildert, Classics) because of maternal Irish roots, will both be competing for Northern Ireland, in what promises to be an exciting event on 2nd and 3rd April.
The Five Nations Championships is a chance for fencers from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to meet and fence against each other. It is the only event of its kind in the Fencing world. Each nation puts in a 3 or 4 man team for each weapon. (Men’s sabre, epee and foil; women’s sabre, epee and foil) This means there can be a weapon winner as well as an overall winner.
They will both be fencing for the Sabre team.
Naomi, who comes from Everton in Bedfordshire, started fencing at secondary school and was University Club Captain in 2003/4. Additionally she was Women’s Captain in 2002/3, and has taken up that role again this season
She is also a member North East Epee Team of which she hopes to continue to be Captain this year.
Naomi funds her studies with the help of an army bursary and will start her training at Sandhurst as soon as she has finished her degree. She competes for both the British Army and Combined Services teams. For the latter she was Captain in November in a tournament which took them as far as Canada.
As well as preparing for this tournament, Naomi is also preparing for the University team’s challenge in the BUSA (British University Sports Association) competition. She hopes they will better their success of the previous two years and make it in to the finals.
Philippa, more widely known as Flip, has been fencing from the age of 13, when she saw it advertised at her local martial arts club, in South Yorkshire, where she had been practicing judo from the age of 7.
Since she already trains six times and week, she says she will be concentrating more specifically on her mental preparation for this tournament.
She hopes that a good performance in the tournament might earn her a permanent position on the Northern Irish squad.
Good luck to the both of them! Seeing as it is being held in Durham, go out to Maiden Castle and show them your support in April!
Media enquiries to: Joy Davis, Public Relations, Durham University
Tel: 0191 334 6803 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org