Hard Work Paying Off for British Fencing Starlet Taiwo-Williams

Cadet and Junior BRC A, 3-4th September 2022.
Cadet and Junior BRC A, 3-4th September 2022.

Nottingham fencing star Louis Taiwo-Williams’ winding road to the sport is finally starting to pay off, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.

Taiwo-Williams, 18, was a former triathlete before turning towards modern pentathlon when a local club opened, altering his trajectory towards epee duals.

Until his pentathlon training at the age of 10 he had never picked up a sword, but in the years since he has developed into one of Great Britain’s brightest fencing talents.

Taiwo-Williams now wants to show what he can do on the international stage and is targeting a Junior World Cup medal.

“If it wasn’t for switching to modern pentathlon I would never have found fencing,” he said. “At first I wasn’t sure about solely focusing on fencing.

“I only realised how enjoyable it was after months of training and realised I could do it at a higher level.

“I decided to take up fencing separately as well and now know it is something I want to take as far as possible.

“Modern pentathlon is strictly epee and I felt naturally comfortable with it straight away. It suits my style.

“My time as a triathlete when I was a kid has really helped me. My stamina is always at a high level and I always know how to keep composure.

“That gave me a great physical base, but in the last few months I have improved on the mental side and matured as a fencer.

“My understanding of keeping my emotions in check and timing has really improved over the last year. Hopefully I can get a Junior World Cup medal and build from there.

Taiwo-Williams’ 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.

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