Successful ZFW youngsters share prestigious award for development in fencing
- Credit: Archant
Three young women at north London fencing club ZFW have been honoured for their athletic endeavours with an annual award for development.
Yasmin Campbell, Carolina Stutchbury and Amelie Tsang shared this year’s Susan Wojciechowska award for progress by women in the sport following impressive campaigns.
Stutchbury, 14, earned international accolades with a bronze medal at the Cadet (Under 17) European Fencing Championships in Porec, Croatia in February, which was among the last to be held before international fencing was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Campbell is Britain’s top-ranked Junior (under-20) foilist and qualified to represent Great Britain at the European and World Junior Championships, but the latter – set for Salt Lake City in Utah – was cancelled.
Tsang, 13, enjoyed a consistent podium presence at home and abroad, also qualifying for the European and World Championships in the Cadet category alongside Stutchbury.
“This year it was evident that three young fencers from ZFW made significant progress,” said ZFW head coach Ziemek Wojciechowski.
“Carolina, who trains in in the US, with her bronze medal at the European Cadet Championships; Yasmin, with her regular top-16 finishes in World Cups, and Amelie, with her international and domestic medals. All three are very talented and are also working incredibly hard to achieve further improvement.”
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Susan Wojciechowska (nee Wrigglesworth) broke new ground when, at the age of 17, she represented Great Britain at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
A national and Commonwealth champion, she also fenced at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 and the 1980 Games in Moscow and was married to ZFW founder Ziemek Wojciechowski, but died of cancer in 1996.
Wojciechowski established the award to honour her considerable efforts and achievements, consulting within the fencing community to identify promising women foilists.
Tsang said the award has encouraged her to aim high, noting that Wojciechowska ‘was one of the youngest British fencers to go to the Olympics. This is a wonderful inspiration for me to continue working hard’.
Campbell said she felt honoured to be among this year’s recipients, adding: “For my results to be recognised shows that I am on the right path for greater success.”
British Fencing’s rising stars are working to remain safely active, while fencing halls are shut and international competition is on hold.
Stutchbury said: “I have seen so many great fencers get the award and I didn’t expect it. It was a real surprise and I am grateful to Ziemek for the recognition of all the hard work.”
The award comprises a cash prize aimed at supporting training and competition and although this year’s award winners all fence for ZFW – Stutchbury also trains at Epic Fencing Club in Atlanta, Georgia, where she currently resides – the award is not limited to ZFW members.
Previous recipients include Teagan Williams-Stewart (2018) and Alice Campbell (2016), both of Newham Swords fencing club.
*ZFW is run by Olympic Coach Ziemek Wojciechowski with a team of dedicated experts and aims to boost the standard of fencing in Britain by providing a centre of excellence for high-performance fencers training for Olympic, international and national teams.
It also provides a learning programme with an emphasis on youngsters and operates from various venues in North London and elsewhere around the capital, although currently impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.
See zfw-fencing.co.uk for more information.