Young Bourne fencer Theo Edwards is celebrating after being selected as part of the Great Britain U17 epee squad .
The 16-year-old Bourne Grammar School pupil will travel to Bonn in Germany to compete in a European Cadet Circuit competition on November 9 and 10.
Theo, who lives in Cedar Drive, Bourne, will also be going to Copenhagen next month as a member of the GB squad.
Most of the fencers he is up against at this higher level have been fencing much longer than him and many have represented their country at an earlier age.
Theo said: “It’s really exciting getting selected to represent GB. I set this as my goal for the year and wasn’t sure if I would make it because lots of the other fencers have been doing the sport for a lot longer than me, and are very good.
He added: “I really enjoy fencing and that makes competitions more fun.
“I hope I can continue doing well but, most of all, I want to keep enjoying the sport.”
Theo came fifth in an U17 British Selection Circuit competition in Manchester in September, securing his spot in the squad.
And, having fenced through to 15th place in a recent U20 selection event in Gateshead – placing him the fourth best under 17-year-old in that tournament – he has now heard he will also be travelling to Copenhagen in early December.
Theo is currently placed sixth in the national U17 epee rankings, a remarkable achievement given that he only started fencing at the age of 14.
He began at The Custodians Fencing Club in Spalding in the spring of 2011, winning his first medal, a bronze, whilst fencing foil, in October of that year.
Although Theo still fences foil at that club and is the current U17 East Midlands regional foil champion, he switched to epee as his main weapon in December 2011 when he joined the then newly formed Oundle, Peterborough and Stamford Epee Club.
He has had further success by topping the national U15 Epee Leon Paul Junior Series in 2012 and came third in the U16 Elite Epee Junior Series grand final during the summer.
Theo is currently supported by the Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme and really benefited from a goal setting workshop they ran earlier this year.
This is an exciting time for the talented teenager, who knows that he still has a lot to do to replicate this success at U20 and senior levels of fencing.
Theo discovered fencing almost by accident, having been actively involved with Bourne Rugby Club from the age of six.
Last year rugby had to take a back seat, while Theo concentrated on his fencing commitments.
That said, he still found time to coach and referee youngsters at Bourne Rugby Club. However, the intensity of the competition circuit this year has led to a full commitment to fencing for the 2013/14 season.
Anyone interested in taking up the sport can find details of forthcoming courses on both the Oundle, Peterborough and Stamford Club website, or the same for The Custodians club in Spalding.