British Cadet Fencing Team Selection Date: 11/09/2015
Richard Michell Selected to Fence In Bonn for the British Cadet Team
Today, epee fencer Richard Michell, a sixth former at Scarisbrick Hall, was awarded his British Cadet team colours at a presentation by his headmaster. For the last three years, Richard has perused the dream of fencing for the national Cadet team and narrowly missed achieving this in 2014. However, in January he returned to the selection circuit with a renewed determination to succeed and his hard work and perseverance have paid off with this nomination for the Bonn International in November.
To gain a Cadet (under 17) team place, a fencer must take part in the British Ranking Circuit tournaments. Selections are then made before each international based on the current rankings and the team typically consist of the top 10 to 15 fencers. For Richard, attending competitions this year has been complicated by sitting his GCSEs, reducing the number of tournaments he could realistically enter. Therefore he focused on attending the ranking events at Newcastle, Canterbury and two in Kidderminster. He started the season ranked 17th, but after each competition, he steadily improved his position and he is currently 10th. Also in March, Richard successfully defended his U16 regional title at the Northwest Youth Championships.
Richard is pictured above with Mr. Shaw, Scarisbrick Hall’s headmaster and his coach, David Stobbs. The fencing photographs are from the final moments of Richard’s critical duel in the last ranking event at Kidderminster. He had to win this match to gain enough points to secure a team place. The first picture is the actual winning touch. The second is the moment Richard lifted his mask after the referee had signalled his win!
So many people have helped Richard, both in the fencing world and beyond and he would not have been as successful without them. In particular the financial support from Lancashire County Council, Premier Wealth Management Ltd. and Nationwide Produce PLC has given Richard international standard equipment and enabled him to start receiving individual coaching throughout this summer. But most of all, credit must be given to David Stobbs, whose coaching has really made a tremendous difference to Richard’s performance, enabling him to compete at the top level of British youth fencing.
Planning for the future, Richard now needs to structure his schedule to match his new international ambitions. This programme will have to be carefully combined with his A Level studies and require a much greater financial commitment to cover the additional training and travel needed. This will be too large an expense to expect from a single organisation, so Richard is hoping to form a group of sponsors who will contribute at whatever level they feel comfortable. If there are any local businesses that would be interested in helping with this, Richard would like to make contact.
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