Swords keep their focus on Olympics

NEWHAM SWORDS fencers reached the last 16 of the BSC London Foil Competition at Newham Leisure Centre over the weekend. Both Amol Rattan and Alex Savin impressed in their categories, before losing 15-14 to older competitors, but still remain on track for

NEWHAM SWORDS fencers reached the last 16 of the BSC London Foil Competition at Newham Leisure Centre over the weekend.

Both Amol Rattan and Alex Savin impressed in their categories, before losing 15-14 to older competitors, but still remain on track for next year's World Cadet and Junior Championships.

Ife Kubler, 14, also gave those in higher age groups a fright and will be making her Great Britain debut shortly in an event in November.

Meanwhile, Rajan Rai, who at 13-years-old was the club's youngest competitor at the event, did enough to retain his overall number five ranking at under-15 level.


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What has made the success even more remarkable is that Newham is the sixth most deprived area in the country.

They are now consistently beating boroughs that have been traditionally better at fencing and have an eye firmly fixed on the 2012 Olympics.

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Coach Linda Strachan, a former Olympian herself, said: "The great thing about teaching children from the borough is that they already have the drive and ambition to succeed in life.

"It just goes to show that with the right backing, they can be even more successful than their peers in richer parts of London.

"Both Amol and Alex have bright futures ahead of them thanks to the support the club has received from Newham Sports Academy."

Newham Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, added: "Athletes from deprived backgrounds too often get a raw deal.

"We want to see a level playing field - a sporting, not social elite.

"For too many athletes the real struggle is just making it to the starting line.

"We hope that for some that leg-up will be also be on to the medal podium.

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