Lucy-Belle Williamson made fencing history in Oxfordshire by becoming the first Under 10 to win gold in two weapons in the British Youth Championships. Lucy-Belle decided to compete in the Sabre event two weeks ago after winning gold in the Epee Championships held in Northamptonshire. Following last year’s victory in the Epee Championship, Lucy-Belle returned to defend her title and did so with a magnificent performance, ending the final with a clear 10-1 victory.
The talented Earby youngster has had a fantastic start to the season, winning all of the national competitions that she has entered and also retaining her Yorkshire championship title. As planned, she began fencing internationally this year and has just returned from her first competition in Poland only a few weeks ago. Being determined to develop her fencing, Lucy-Belle has taken advice from senior British Fencing officials and coaches to gain as much experience of international fencing as possible.
Lucy-Belle’s father, Ian Williamson said: “The standard of fencing is so much higher in many of the European countries, some of which have special schools for talented fencers where they train daily. “Lucy-Belle represented her country well and being in the lower age bracket for the competition she did well to finish in 61st place out of 134.
“She also came away with a handful of techniques that she must now work on, in order stand on a level playing field with her international competitors. “There is a steep learning curve to get to grips with the different styles, languages and competition formats but Lucy-Belle is determined that these things are not going to stop her from reaching her goal.”
Lucy-Belle, who won the Lancashire Telegraph Grassroots Heroes young sports personality of the year award, will now be hoping to make it a hat-trick of national titles when she competes in another British Championship title, this time using her preferred weapon – foil. Last year she won a bronze medal but is determined to improve on that performance, in fact, it is her goal to be British Champion of all three fencing disciplines in the same year – a feat that has never been achieved before. Once the championships are over, Lucy-Belle will then begin preparing for a return to Europe later in the year for more international competitions where she will be expecting to use the new techniques that she has been hard at work practicing.
The St Michael and All Angels School pupil in Foulridge is grateful for the support she has received from the school and their acknowledgement that while the competitions will take Lucy-Belle out of school for a couple of days, they are important for her development and education.
Dad Ian is delighted with the way his daughter is progressing and also thanked those who have helped her in recent years.
He said: “We are all extremely grateful for the support that Lucy-Belle currently receives from Skipton Fencing Club, her coach Jim Lockyer, Pendle Leisure trust and West Craven Sports Centre where Lucy-Belle practices regularly as well as the many other coaches that advise and train her on training days and competitions. “It is clear that sporting success requires the athlete to have the right opportunities and support as well as talent and determination and we are going to do all that we can to ensure that Lucy-Belle has the opportunity to succeed.”