Donnelly-Sallows inspired to push for World Championships after national debut

Keira Donnelly-Sallows inspired to push for World Championships after national debut
Keira Donnelly-Sallows inspired to push for World Championships after national debut

Keira Donnelly-Sallows says success on her national debut has whetted her appetite for scaling the European and World Championship heights.

The 15-year-old from Haywards Heath, who attends Brighton College, reached the England Youth Championships not long after taking up the sport via an inter-school competition.

Since then she has moved her main club from Crawley Swords to the Sevenoaks-based MX Fencing, switched from the foil category to sabre and is currently ranked sixth in the country at Cadet level, in which she is in her second season.

And Donnelly-Sallows now has continental and global glory in her sights as she continues to embark on her burgeoning career on the piste.

She said: “At the beginning of this season we’ve had the BYCs (British Youth Championships) and the EYCs, and I won both of those in my age group, the under-15s and under-16s.

“This season my goal is to qualify for the Euros and Worlds at the end of the season, so really it’s about trying to do as well as I can domestically but also getting the results internationally.

“Last season I also went to a few internationals and that was to get experience and know what it’s like because the competition involves lots of different people and each country fences differently, so it was good to figure out how it goes.”

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