Earby fencing starlet Lucy-Belle Williamson has made history by winning two of three British championship weapon events of the year.
The 10-year-old, of Victoria Crescent, Earby, won gold at the under-10 age group sabre event in Oxfordshire in April, adding to the successful defence of the épée championship in Northamptonshire earlier in the year with a resounding 10-1 victory.
But that does not tell the whole story of Lucy-Belle’s fantastic start to the season as the tremendous talent produced another magnificent performance to also retain her Yorkshire championship title.
Towards the end of 2013, Lucy-Belle, who attends St Michael and All Angel School in Foulridge, secured a place in a prestigious national programme aimed at developing her talent further where British coaches recommended travelling abroad to sharpen her skills.
She trained with Maltese fencers last autumn, and is just back from Poland where she competed in her first international tournament.
Proud father, Ian Williamson, said: “The standard of fencing is so much higher in many of the European countries, some of which have special schools for talented fencers where they train daily.
“Lucy-Belle represented her country well and being in the lower age bracket for the competition she did well to finish in 61st place out of 134.
“She also came away with a handful of techniques that she must now work on, in order stand on a level playing field with her international competitors.
“There is a steep learning curve to get to grips with the different styles, languages and competition formats but Lucy-Belle is determined that these things are not going to stop her from reaching her goal.”
Up next for Lucy-Belle is the British under-10 foil category championships in Shropshire this month, her preferred discipline, where she won bronze in 2013.
If successful, Lucy-Belle would be the first person ever to hold the position of national champion in all three fencing disciplines in the same year.
Lucy-Belle, who is coached at Skipton Fencing Club, said: “I love the speed and tactics which are used to try and defeat my opponents. They are trying to hit me while I try to hit them.
“Sometimes, I think about a move that I could do but know that I am not yet good enough to do it. I have to be so focused because fencing is so fast and if my mind slips for one moment I will get hit.
“It is a battle, using nearly every muscle in my body and my brain to try and make my opponent think I am going to do one thing when I do something different.
“I also have to train my body to react without thinking about it so that I can block an attack and hit back in the blink of an eye.”
The Williamsons are looking for potential sponsors so that Lucy-Belle can continue to improve and compete abroad, with each international competition costing £600 in total to take part in.
Email Mr Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.