York’s fencers warmed up for the season by hosting their first ever Open on Saturday. With 72 entrants it acted as both pre-season training and crucial fundraising, especially for the women’s team who face their first season in the Premier League.
A glorious season last year has seen the women’s fencers promoted to the Northern Premier League where they will do battle with the likes of Birmingham and Edinburgh. Funding issues have not been overcome but Saturday’s Open will go some way to easing the financial burden.
As well as that strains on membership are still threatening to hamstring Louise Highton’s side but the captain was optimistic; “We won’t walk over any games and…hopefully we won’t be involved in the relegation play-offs”.
It is a big ask for Highton and her side especially in terms of recruiting new talent with the added committment that the Premier League demands. The team is remaining positive and if they are able to perform to the same level that they did last season then they might just be able to remain York’s premier team in terms of league position.
The day was certainly a success as over £700 was raised, money that will be used for both sides this season.
– Women’s epee: 1st Jodie Galtrey (Harrogate)
– Women’s foil: 1st Alessandra Villa (Birmingham FC)
– Men’s epee: 1st Granville Ward (Mary Hawdon)
– Men’s Foil: 1st Ingvar Kraatz (University of Leeds)