Credit: British Fencing
Ahead of Cardiff hosting the 2024 Wheelchair Fencing World Cup, local schools are being introduced to the sport and how activity can be made more accessible for anyone to take part.
Sessions have been delivered to over 300 pupils across 10 schools in the Cardiff area, with children who took part having now been invited to attend the world-class experience and see the best athletes from across the world compete for Paris 2024 Paralympic qualification.
In order to inspire the next generation to get involved with the sport and understand how it can provide positive experiences for all, schools are learning about the art of sword play and given a unique opportunity to try a sport often overshadowed by the rest.
Amongst the schools involved in the initiative was Llysfaen Primary School in Lisvane, receiving engaging taster sessions delivered by coaches from Welsh Fencing and British Fencing.
Miss Rhiannon Parker, teacher at the school, explained:
"I perhaps didn't previously consider fencing as an inclusive sport, but it's so important for young people to learn that all activity must include everyone. Our school had a pupil last year who was a fencer, so we never considered that people would compete in chairs.
"We have all learnt a lot about how different people can take part in different ways. The pupils learnt about fencing as a sport, about safety with the weapons and masks, and they learnt respect with a handshake and a bow after they finished. It's been so much fun for them - using the digital resource, we will learn even more in the new year before we come to the World Cup."
Pupils will attend the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup, taking place in Cardiff from 11-14th January 2024 - Credit: British Fencing
The Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in January will be the final European-based qualification fixture ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
Looking forward to the important social impact of hosting the sporting event in Wales, Welsh fencing star Gemma Collis said:
"This is an incredible opportunity for us to showcase Wheelchair Fencing in the UK, and to hopefully attract new people to get involved in this incredible sport – whether that's as an athlete, official, coach or volunteer.
"It's not a sport I ever originally thought I'd end up getting involved in, but it's been truly life-changing and I would love it if even a few more people could experience that off of the back of the World Cup in Cardiff."
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