Fencer Isaac excited by England call

Chichester Fencing Club ace Isaac Jolley
Chichester Fencing Club ace Isaac Jolley

CHICHESTER FENCING Club’s Isaac Jolley has been selected for the under-15 England foil squad.

Thirteen-year-old Isaac started fencing when he was just eight in a 45-minute after-school session at Central School in Chichester. By his second term, he had won an achievement trophy and knew this was a sport he was going to love.

The honour of fencing for his country follows a campaign of hard work and training.

Jolley said: “You have to do a lot of competitions and do well in them. My dad was recording my results so he knew what I needed to get into the squad - he didn’t tell me but it basically came down to one fight. I’d done all I could; the rest depended on how other people did.”

The morning he learned he’d made it into the squad was unforgettable, he said. “I was really excited but also a little bit scared,” he admitted.

The scale of his achievement hit home at his first international event in Paris, where the Bishop Luffa pupil was knocked out of the competition by an American competitor.

“The competition was even tougher than I expected,” he said. “I was really happy to have made it there but I want to do better next year. Next year I want to finish top 16.”

Jolley, who attributes his sporting success to having self-belief, working hard and being committed and determined, has his sights on the GB squad - and ultimately to be Olympic champion.

CFC coach Sharon Blackman said: “Isaac is an exceptional talent who has already achieved a fantastically-high standard and won many titles and trophies. Earning the honour of fencing for his country is the icing on the cake and I have every confidence this is just the beginning for Isaac.”

Great Britain’s last Olympic medal in fencing was silver won by eppeist Bill Hoskyns in 1958 – it’s about time we had another one. Jolley’s determination and talent might just see him take the podium in the future.

Anyone from any background can fence - if you would like to try it, call Sharon Blackman on 01243 822753 or email sharonblackman1@googlemail.com