A CHIRNSIDE fencer is set to be one of the last athletes to compete in London’s Olympic venues before the 2012 Games begin in July.
David Durie, a pupil at Longridge Towers, first thought of fencing four years ago: “I read about it,” he said, “and it just really appealed to me. I nagged my parents for a while and they took me to try it in Newcastle and then in Edinburgh. I just loved it.
David now enters competitions in both England and Scotland, when not training twice a week with the Edinburgh Fencing Club. He is proud to be representing Scotland this week in front of over 35,000 spectators.
“I am delighted to be able to compete for Scotland. All my family are Scottish so its a great honour.
“I went into a competition where you collect points for every fence. There were about 100 other fencers there. To qualify you had to be in the top 75 per cent, and I was.
“I’m looking forward to it. It will be a great experience.
“After the fencing I’ll be looking forward to walking about inside the Olympic venue.”
David is keen to point out there is an art to fencing.
“Speed and accuracy are most important. If you’re quick you can get around an opponent’s strength.
“Stamina is important as well. If you’re tired, you can quickly go from 14-1 up to losing 14-15.
“The best thing to do is to fence as many people as you can.
“Fencing styles come from a fencer’s personality, so the more you face, the better you will get.”
He also stressed the safety of the sport: “The sport is not dangerous at all, I’ve never been injured.
“This vest and the protective kit is amazingly strong, so there’s no fear involved at all.
He admitted: “It is fairly expensive kit - a good blade can cost around about £100, and then you break a blade every six months or so.
“It’s only really dangerous when you try to straighten a very bent blade.”
The Sainsbury’s School Games take place from May6-9.