Fencing star heads to nationals

FENCING star Oscar Crellin is celebrating being picked to represent Yorkshire at prestigious national championships.

The Year 7 Ripon Grammar School pupil was selected for the British Youth Championships after claiming bronze in the Under-12 Men’s Foil at the Yorkshire Youth Championships.

Oscar narrowly missed out on a place in the final after winning all his group matches to reach the semi-final, which ended in a tense, sudden-death 6-7 match.

“It was really close," said Oscar. "It was frustrating not to get a shot at the Yorkshire title, but I'm happy to be selected for the BYCs, which was my main focus of the competition.”

The 11-year-old has been fencing with Harrogate Fencing Club for the past five years, taking part in competitions all over the country from the age of six.

He finished 17th at his first English Youth Championships last year, and currently sits just outside the top 20 in the England rankings.

"I'd like to see how far I can progress," said Oscar, now busy preparing for the championships which will be held in Sheffield on May 4.

"The club is really supportive, with such a family atmosphere. It's the same at competitions - you make really good friends, although you still want to beat them on the day!"

Oscar, who is from Harrogate, joined RGS from Highfield Prep School where he was sports captain. He juggles his fencing success with lots of other sports, including football and tennis.

"I play upfront for Pannal Sports Juniors. We've only lost one match this season, and I hope I can retain the golden boot this year. It's a great team to play for and the coaches are brilliant - really calm and they try to get the best from everyone. That's how you improve in any sport - have the best coaching and put the hours in."

He spends around ten hours a week in training and matches across all sports, plus another five hours if there's a fencing competition.

“It sounds a lot, but I enjoy it and it's really rewarding when you get a win, whether that's on a podium, with your team or just improving your performance.”

*British Fencing’s 2024 British Youth Championships will be held in Sheffield on May 4 and 5