As Gad’s Hill introduces its very own fencing coach, Olympic gold medal winner Sir Steve Redgrave comments on the strong sporting resources provided by independent schools.
In a report in The Telepgraph, the retired British rower talked about privately-educated pupils having more ‘opportunity of playing different sports’ and access to ‘coaching abilities’.
From September, new fencing coach Sarah Ellis will teach children from years three to eleven the Sabre fencing technique.
Miss Ellis, 29, from Orpington, joins Gad’s PE team, which offers a wide choice of team and individual sports such as triathlon; swimming; cricket and netball. Athletes from Gad’s often represent the Higham school at national interschool sporting competitions, and many are members of various county teams during their free time.
Miss Ellis, was ranked in Britain’s top 10 ranked Women Sabreurs in 2013 and has represented Britain in World and European Championships, as well as Northern Ireland at Commonwealth Championships.
She said: “Fencing is my passion and nothing beats sharing the skills and techniques I have honed over the years.
“Children as young as eight will be able to learn the discipline, featured in the Olympic programme since Athens 1896, which improves agility, strength and co-ordination.
“While it is a very physical activity, the students will need to concentrate, as successful fencing requires a strategic intelligence similar to chess – but overall it will offer them a new and fun interest to complement the many other sporting options available at Gad’s.
Sabre fencing will be available to Gad’s Juniors and Seniors during games lessons and at an after-school club.