ALEX Spencer-Taylor from Shelley is in at the sharp end!
The Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (Wakefield) student has been selected to represent Great Britain in the Cadets U17 Foil Fencing Team, and he’s enjoying the honour.
It’s reward for years of dedicated practice and his speed, skill and dexterity at competitions up and down the country.
Year 12 student Spencer-Taylor said: “I’m proud and honoured to have been chosen to represent my country.”
Spencer-Taylor was involved in weekend competitions countrywide for much of September and October and finished in the top 10 of the GB rankings.
That resulted in the invitation to join the team, which has been his driving ambition since his early days in fencing.
A taster course got him interested in the first place and he went on from there to enter competitions, starting in Yorkshire and moving further afield.
In the National Series, he was fourth in his age group.
In 2010, he became eligible to join British Fencing’s National Academy, which involves a series of training days on a monthly basis.
There are also camps a few times a year, focusing on long-term development.
He is a member of several clubs in the county and has already honed his skills against experienced fencers in open-age competitions.
His first competition as part of the GB team was in Halle Germany, competing against young players from all over the world.
He performed well and was placed in the top half of 180 competitors, missing European ranking by only one point in the Poules round.
GB have several international competitions coming up, with pending matches in Bratislava and a particularly tough one looming in Cabries, France, which will be well attended by many esteemed French and Italian fencers.
Spencer-Taylor will also represent Yorkshire at a team competition in Somerset.
A spokesman for QEGS said: “The school are very proud of Alex’s achievement and wish him great success.”