By Jack Lacey-Hatton
Halifax fencer Alex Lister says five years of hard work paid off after being crowned men’s sabre champion at the British Cadet Championships.
The Yorkshire swordsman, who now trains in Manchester at the TMFC Fencing club, defeated Yoji Hiyama in the final to top the podium.
Lister never used to believe he could reach the level required to be considered the best young fencer in the country, but now feels the sky is the limit.
He said: “It was five years ago at my first cadet national competition when I was 11.
— British Fencing (@britishfencing) November 5, 2022
“That was the moment I realised I actually could do this.
“Before then, fencing was just a hobby. I remember that day thinking ‘that went a lot better than I was expecting’, and the better I was getting, the more I was enjoying it.
“From that day I’ve kept pushing at a high level. I kept training at the same level, fencing new people, fencing harder for longer.
“It makes a massive difference – today I’m fencing on the international cadet circuit for Great Britain and I know I can get even better.
“It’s great to be national champion but I know how much hard work that took and I’m not satisfied, I know there is more to come. It’s shows what five years of training can do.”
Lister’s development is supported by British Fencing, who recently launched their new ‘British Fencing commitment’ setting out the organisation’s cultures and values, both on and off the piste, going forward.
— British Fencing (@britishfencing) November 1, 2022
Dusty Miller, head of people and culture at the national governing body, said: “The culture at British Fencing is moving to a ‘fencer-centred’ approach.”
“What we are trying to do is put the development of the fencer at the very centre.
“To be fencer-centred is about putting the fencer’s performance, and the development of that individual, right at the heart of performance.
“The commitment is our binding contract with each other, between the community, parents and us as a national governing body to support the development and the growth of their children, hopefully into high performance adults.”
British Fencing supports fencing and para fencing across the UK, from grassroots initiatives and school-age experiences, through to clubs and competitions. The Athlete Development Programme supports fencers as they develop along the GBR pathway and has a three-point focus: Fencer-Centred, Development-Driven and Competition-Supported, placing the fencer at the heart of the competitive fencing map. Find out more at britishfencing.com