Jumping on the fence

Fencing champion aims to develop the sport at local schools.

A former European fencing champion is behind attempts to bring the sport into schools, and is targeting the Birmingham area with the help of a locally-based young prospect.

Businessman Dmitry Leus and his company Imperium Investments are working directly and via the British Fencing Association to make people, specifically children, more aware of the sport and make it more accessible and fun. They have already opened a successful training centre in Brixton and Imperium have provided funding to British Fencing so that Mhairi McLaughlin, Alexander Lloyd and Birmingham-based Lizzie Powell can compete at the U23’s European Championships in Armenia later this month.

Lizzie, who studies law at the University of Birmingham, said “I am very grateful to Imperium Investments for the support they are giving me, as their contribution makes a huge difference to my ability to compete for my country”

“My focus is to grow the sport of fencing and I am delighted to have been selected to represent the UK in Armenia. This will be the second time I have competed at this event and I am looking forward to the opportunity to fence against other athletes from all over Europe and to improve my international ranking”

Dmitry added, “I’m assisting the British Fencing Association to send Lizzie and her team mates to the European Championships because I believe Britain has what it takes for major competitions. We want to make the sport fun and accessible to everyone.”

The BFA aim to hold an open day at a local fencing club soon, and meanwhile any school wishing to take part in the scheme can get in touch via Imperium Investments at [email protected].