It was an exciting weekend in many ways for Remove Former Thomas Raut, who took first place on the podium at the England Fencing Youth Championships. Competing in the U15 Sabre event on Saturday 16 June at Hatfield University, Thomas still cannot quite believe he finished in first place in a field of 64 contestants.
With school exams at the forefront of his mind, plus a Duke of Edinburgh trip to pack for, it was perhaps not the ideal weekend for a national fencing competition. However, Thomas’ ability to focus when it matters, and keep calm under pressure, certainly paid off. He beat the current GB champion 15:9 in the semi-final, and won the final after defeating a Truro* fencer 15:9.
* Truro School and Truro Fencing Club have a long-standing reputation for producing fencers of the highest quality.
Thomas told us, “I still can’t quite believe it! All my mates were there to cheer me on and jumped on me when I won.”
Thomas is a member of the Paul Davis Fencing Academy in St Albans, where he trains for just a few hours a week. He first became interested in fencing when he joined the school fencing club as a prep school pupil at Aldwickbury School. Thomas fences with a sabre (one of three weapons used in modern day fencing), and hopes to bring this discipline of fencing to Bedford School as an extra-curricular activity. Thomas has previously been ranked fifth in the country for his age group, which saw him play with the England fencing squad for the last two years. Following his success at the Youth Championship, he will undoubtedly be selected for a third year. His next goal is to play for the U17 GB squad, which he says, “will be a dream come true.”
Thomas is also a keen rower, currently rowing for the school as a J15 on the VIII C team. He also has an interest in business studies and sport, and whilst he is leaving his options open for now, he hopes to incorporates these interests into his Sixth Form studies and beyond.