Sport-by-sport - Wheelchair Fencing
|Performance Director||Justine Wilmott|
|Funding Award (2009-2013)||£552,892|
|Best London 2012 Performance||No finish outside of group.|
|Athletes on World Class Performance Programme||6|
|Press Officer tel||info@BDFA.org.uk|
|National governing body||British Disabled Fencing Association|
“The Wheelchair Fencing Performance Programme has benefitted enormously from the National Lottery funding in this Paralympic cycle. It has enabled BDFA to select fencers for every qualification event in the lead into the London 2012 Paralympics and set up a National camp programme and regional weekly training sessions as well as develop the support staff structure for the sport. As a result ParalympicsGB will take a team of seven Wheelchair fencers to the London 2012 Paralympics. Thank you!”
Justine Wilmott, British Disabled Fencing Association Performance Manager
At the Beijing Games four years ago the ParalympicGB team featured just one wheelchair fencer, but at London 2012 there will be a team of seven athletes competing for Britain. Funding for the sport was increased to more than £500,000 for London 2012 to give athletes the best possible chance of success at a home Games.
Six of the seven athletes selected are making their Paralympic debut, but they can always turn to the experience of David Heaton who is back at the Paralympics after retiring from the sport following Athens 2004 Paralympics. He won a bronze at the Barcelona Games in 1992 and has been involved in the sport for more than 25 years.
Athletes compete in wheelchairs that are fastened to the floor. This gives the fencers freedom of movement in their upper bodies, while keeping them fixed in their chairs. The length of the playing area is determined by the athlete with the shorter arm reach, who decides if the distance between competitors will be set at the length of their opponent’s reach or their own. Participation is open to athletes with spinal injuries, lower leg amputations and cerebral palsy. Athletes requiring the general use of a wheelchair are also eligible.
There are three disciplines in Wheelchair Fencing, and they are based on the type of sword used – the Foil, the Epee and the Sabre.
In addition to the funding of athletes and their performance programme, UK Sport’s coaching team have supported an intervention to develop the leadership capacity of the head coach. This has generated a greater collaboration between the coaching team within Wheelchair Fencing and therefore benefitted the athletes.
Did You Know?
Great Britain have not won a Paralympic medal in Wheelchair Fencing since 1992.