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Black Isle Fencer Ranked Junior No 1 in Britain (17/12/08)
Edward Jefferies from Tore is now the British Men’s Junior No 1 after his win at the FIE Junior Foil World Cup in Leszno, Poland and has his sights now firmly set on the 2012 Olympics in London.
Nineteen year old Edward from Tore is the first Scottish fencer to ever win the Junior World Cup and is the only British fencer in the men’s top 20 world rankings for Juniors.
Speaking after his most recent success Edward said: “I was ecstatic to win a World Cup and although I wouldn’t say it was completely out of the blue because I’ve been on good form lately, it was a surprise but something I always knew I was capable of.
“It’s the perfect stage in my progression and I hope this title won’t be the last one I win before moving up to senior level. I now need to keep my head down and continue training hard with my fantastic coaches. As for my future, well I definitely want to be part of the Team GB at the 2012 Olympics.”
To win a World Cup is a very significant achievement and takes Edward to the top of the British Men’s Junior (under 20) rankings and 17th in the Men’s Junior World rankings.
Edward is currently on the World Class Performance Pathway and is hoping that he can continue on the Programme which could be one of the latest casualties of the recession. Fencing is currently just one of the sports having a funding review by UK Sport who are feeling the pinch in this economic downturn. Edward’s progression and success can be attributed to the opportunities presented by the Pathway Programme along with the continued support this year of The Highland Council’s Black Isle Ward Discretionary Fund, the Duncraig Trust, his family and a contribution from local building firm O’Brien Properties and off course, essential funding from UK Sport.
Councillor Isobel McCallum said: “I have followed Edward’s achievements over a number of years and on behalf of the four Local Councillors for the Black Isle I can say that we are absolutely delighted to hear that he is ranked number one in Britain following his win in Leszno. We regularly mention Edward at the Black Isle Forums as part of our good news reports. I know too well the amount of hard work that goes into training and competing at this level and also how challenging it is for families to support their talented youngsters and also the challenges in securing sponsorship and grants. We will continue to follow and support Edwards training and competitions and we all hope very much that we will see him representing GB at the 2012 Olympics.”
Edward’s story is one of determination and absolute commitment to the sport. This recent win is the most important of his many fencing achievements since he joined the sport at the Dingwall Fencing Club when he was 11 years old. He quickly secured competition success which have built over the years and included heading up the Commonwealth Junior and Seniors. Edward has faced many difficulties in getting to the top of his sport, not least the costs of equipment, international travel and balancing schoolwork with the demands of competing. But his focus has always been a place in Great Britain’s Olympic team. He is currently based in London as part of the Pathway Programme in order to access professional training and travel internationally more easily.