By Jack Lacey-Hatton
Fencing was always in the blood for David Sosnov.
The young foil competitor always felt comfortable with sword in hand after he was inspired by his father, Daniel, who previously fenced for the Soviet Union.
Sosnov junior is now one of the country’s rising stars and was recently crowned cadet men’s foil champion at the British Championships in Nottingham.
It has been a rapid rise for ZFW Fencing Club’s Sosnov, who has a multitude of experience to call upon.
“My dad was a fencer for the Soviet Union and it has always been his life,” said Sosnov. “I was always going to be a fencer.
“I started back in the US in 2010 and when we moved here two years later carried on and have been fencing ever since.
“When I did my very first tournament over here – that was a massive confidence boost. Even though I finished in second place I knew I had done well and realised I could fence at a higher level.”
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But it isn’t just his father who Sosnov can sound out on how to reach the elite level of the sport.
“My coach Ziemek (Wojciechowski) is my sporting hero,” he added. “Along with my dad he has been the biggest inspiration, not just when I’m in a fight but off the piste as well.
“I have been with him for so long and he has coached at ten Olympic Games so has plenty of experience.
“He also represented Poland (in the 1976 Olympics) so all the knowledge he passes onto me is really valuable. I look up to him a lot.”
Sosnov’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.
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