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Fencer, Joe LittlerJoe Littler

Joe Littler is a promising young fencer from Broomfield, Sheffield. He is a pupil at King Edwards Secondary School and a member of Sheffield Buccaneers Fencing Club. Early on in his fencing career he was selected to be part of the national Under-17 fencing squad despite only being 14, and is working towards qualifying for the World Championships 2009. To achieve this he needs to achieve ranking points by fencing at a minimum of three home and three international competitions. He trains three times a week, swims and does circuit training to improve his fitness.

Find out more about him at www.fencing.joelittler.co.uk.

Joe was provided with a grant of 1,000 by the JWCT in August 2008 to help with the costs of fencing blades, travel and entry fees to domestic and international events, and training costs.


October 2009

Joe’s mother Steph Young sent the following update:

The JWCT supported Joe in attending two international Epee competitions at which he did very well. He finished the season in seventh place in the GB Boys Epee Cadet rankings. Once the older fencers had been taken off the list he was in third place. This is his last year as a cadet (under-17s) and he needs to maintain the third place, or better, to qualify for the European Cadet Championships, in Athens in March 2010.

He went to a training camp in Hungary over the summer, where he met fencers from all over the world, it was a fabulous experience for him.

The first international of the season was in Bonn in October, he pulled out all the stops and fought his way to 20th place in a tough international in Bonn, he was the top Brit and on cloud nine for several days! The coach who went with the boys to Bonn was an inspiration to Joe, unfortunately he is based in Canterbury, and so we are looking at ways of getting Joe there sometime during the season. This is Joe’s last year as a Cadet (under-17) and he is competing in some of the junior competitions this season, so that he gets some experience before he has to fight for a top 12 place. He has also been studying hard and did well, gaining four A*s, four As, three Bs and two Cs in his GCSEs and is studying politics, economics, physics and Japanese at AS level this year. Combining studying, cadet and some junior competitions is going to be a challenge for us all.

His commitment to fencing means that he can’t find a part-time job as he is competing or training most weekends, and studying in the evenings. Mind you he doesn’t have much time to spend money either!

Many thanks for the support last year it really made a difference.”

December 2008

Joe’s mother Steph sent the following update:

"Joe has just come back from Mödling in Austria where he fought his way into 29th place. Only two of the GB squad went into the next round, so he was very pleased. This trip is one of the competitions paid for by the sponsorship from JWCT. Joe will get several thousand ranking points and push him up to sixth in the country. The other trip your sponsorship is funding is to Friedricshaven in January 2009 and he is hoping to get into the top four to qualify for the European Championships in April 2009.

<The JWCT> sponsorship really makes a difference to us as without the internationals, Joe would not be able to maintain his place in the rankings."

September 2008

Joe’s mother Steph sent the following update:

“Joe fenced in an under-17 (cadet) tournament at the weekend at the Bolton Arena. He fenced well in the morning only dropping one fight in the poules, to his old adversary Jamie Albert, also of Yorkshire. They fought point for point up to time . . . Jamie was given priority, Joe had to win a point in the final minute or the bout was given to Jamie, so he went on the attack. He pushed Jamie back along the piste, but Jamie is a canny fencer and seemed to have a sticky back foot (if he stepped off the back, Joe would have been awarded the point) with 11 seconds to go both fencers lunged and Jamie scored the decisive hit.

Joe was ranked 11th after the morning fights and met Callum Williams of Salle 126, whom he beat convincingly 15-7. He then fought James Ross of Reading, beating him 15-4 to go through to the last 16. Joe then came up against Phillip Marsh of Bath Swords, who is a left-hander. Joe pushed him to the back of the piste to draw attacks and when Phillip responded he was ready to counter-attack. The score stayed even throughout the first two periods of fencing with neither fencer able to gain an advantage, Joe took advice from his coach Adam Blight in the interval and changed his style in an attempt to gain the upper-hand. Phillip was able to match this and edged two points up, Joe pulled back a point and then with time running out, both boys lunged and took a double, giving Phillip the winning point.

Joe finished tenth in this national competition. The selection for the GB team going to Mödling, Austria will take place on 1 October 2008. Joe will be in the top ten and so is likely to be selected.”

The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust
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