Young Lowestoft fencer to represent Norfolk and Suffolk at British youth championships
- Credit: Nick Butcher
She is only 11, but Evangeline Lawrence from Lowestoft is already making a name for herself in the world of fencing.
The Ormiston Denes Academy pupil only took up the sport three years ago after trying it out at an after-school club.
Since then she has been crowned the Suffolk junior foil fencing champion for the past two years, and in May she will be heading to Sheffield to represent Norfolk and Waveney at the British youth championships (BYC).
Evangeline, who lives on Corton Road, said: 'I really enjoy it because you need to have quick reactions, and it is quite an exciting sport.
'But It is also quite nerve-racking, because I'm always wondering what my opponent's tactics are or whether their height will affect me.'
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The Great Yarmouth and Waveney Fencing Club member trains with both sabre and foil blades, but prefers the latter.
Unlike sabre fencing, foil involves striking an opponent with the tip of the blade, rather than the edge.
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Competitors wear an electrically-wired vest to record hits, and points are only scored when the tip touches the torso or groin.
Despite being made from metal and looking like a sword, a foil is blunted at the end. However, it can still leave bruising on the body.
Evangeline said being left handed gave her an edge over competitors, as it provides her with a greater defence.
Her first win was in 2016 when she won the Suffolk junior foil fencing championships, which she also defended last year.
In January this year, she travelled to Stevenage to take part in the eastern region youth championships and the BYC qualifiers.
She finished in the bronze medal position, qualifying her to enter the national competition in May.
Evangeline's mum, Penny, 47, said: 'I am so proud of her. I have no background in the sport, but Rob, who runs the fencing club is my niece's partner.'
As well as competing in the sport, Evangeline has also started learning how to referee it.
She recently attended a refereeing course at the University of East Anglia, which has enabled her to further her skills in the sport.
She also helps train new younger members at the local fencing club, which is based at the Denes Academy.