Thanks to the dedication and organisation skills of Elizabeth Whiddett a group of our younger club members their families and a couple of guest families are off the Poland on 25th March 2006 to participate in the Vitti Challenge.
POLAND TRIP WRITE UP - Nadia Domanski - March 2006 We all met at the airport on Saturday. There was a group of 9 kids – me, Alex, Rebecca, Zoe, Phoebe, Lucy, Laura, Lorna and **********. We were all very excited about the trip, but mainly because we were missing a day off school ! Once all the swords and bags had been sorted out, we all went as a group to the boarding area. We were flying with RYANAIR so there was a huge fuss over who got which seat. I got a seat next to Alex and the 2 of us watched a film during the 2 hour flight. Once we landed we were shocked about the size of the airport – it was SO tiny! Luckily my dad speaks Polish so we managed to sort out the coach ride to the hotel that we were staying at. Unfortunately for us, the coach ride was not the safest – there were NO seatbelts and the seats were VERY worn - infact every time the coach went over a bump, you landed on the person in front’s chair ! Luckily it was a very short ride to the hotel and I think we were all very relieved to get there in one piece! It was a five star hotel – but not by English standards !It was still lovely and we all loved our rooms ! Once we had unpacked we met up for a tour of the local town – WROCLAW. Wroclaw was not very touristy and there were even shops we recognised like M&S! We decided that it was better left to Monday to buy things as we would have more time to browse. We had dinner at the hotel on the Saturday night. The adults all had traditional Polish food, but us kids had chicken and salad! The next day was the day of the Tournament. We got up at 7:30am but because of the hour change between UK and Poland AND the extra hour change because of changing to summer time, it felt like 5:30am. We were not impressed! After a hearty breakfast we went back onto the hotel and went to the competition. When we first went in we were all “tagged”. After that we went in to the main hall where most of the pistes were. The noise was deafening! There were so many different noises, from crashes to even little screams of delights! We had arrived about 45 minutes before my group needed to start so we went and explored the hall and did dome warm ups. I, rather unfortunately, was on the biggest piste for my poules which was in the middle of the room. It had big adverts on the backboard and was highlighted with lights. There was even a camera crew which was videotaping up and down the piste. After that the nerves struck and I became scared to fight. There were 123 people from 13 different coutries there. I found that out after and I think if I had known that before, then I would have been even more scared to fence! After the poules we entered the DE’s. We were all still nervous but maybe slightly less so. My DE was held in a quiet room and most of the noise went and you could actually hear what you were thinking ! After we had all been knocked out and finished, we bought a few things and something to eat. We were all amazed at the prices – a full tracksuit for £12 and a sword for only £30 ! We then got back onto the coach and went back to the hotel. We then had an hour to do what we wanted. Most of us had a bath or a nap, but some watched a film or played games. That night we went into Wroclaw for dinner. After exploring we found a lovely restaurant under an old church. They had wonderful traditional food for the adults and spaghetti for us children ! Then there was pudding …. Tiramisu and Polish ice cream …. Lovely ! On Monday we went into town again. We bought some bits and pieces and some sweets, then got slightly lost ! It took us a while to get back ! The coach took us to the airport and we said out goodbyes. On the trip I felt I made a lot of new friends as well as learning a bit about Poland.
JUNIOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES WRITE UP - Liz Ng Feb 2006
About a week before going to India, I felt quite nervous because I wasn't fencing well due to nerves and the thought of going to India for such a big event. I had this fear of not fencing my best on the day and letting myself, and others down, even though I knew I could do well. But when we arrived at the venue and watched some of the other fencers compete, I realised it atmosphere wasn't half as scary as I'd thought it would be, and that there was no point in worrying too much about it because i knew it was going to be a great experience that i would enjoy, and I shouldn't waste time worrying. I think once you've got past the worrying stage and start to realise that you're there because: a) you deserve to be there b) you want to fence your best and do as well as you can. At the competition, the stadium it was held in was massive, and everytime you scored a hit you could hear the whole England team cheering behind you (especially in the team competition) and it felt really good (it was being filmed on live indian tv too!). Overall I really enjoyed my experience in India, and I am really happy I had the opportunity to fence there.