Frisby siblings Niamh and Finn make British fencing squad

Niamh and Finn Noble have graduated to the British fencing squad just seven years after taking up the sport EMN-191114-150712002
Niamh and Finn Noble have graduated to the British fencing squad just seven years after taking up the sport EMN-191114-150712002
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While one Great Britain team member in the family is a reason to celebrate, the Nobles will field two in international competition this month.

Niamh Noble and her younger brother Finn will both fence for Britain after earning selection for their respective epee age group squads.

In epee battle EMN-191114-150659002

In epee battle EMN-191114-150659002

University of Liverpool student Niamh heads to Germany this weekend as part of a 12-strong squad to compete in an Under 20s World Cup event in Laupheim.

Meanwhile, Finn, a joinery student at Brooksby Melton College, travels to France to compete at an Under 17s European Cadet Circuit event.

The 16-year-old goes up against top young fighters from across Europe and the United States, and also lines up for Great Britain in the team competition.

He heads to Grenoble in good form after winning bronze at a senior men’s open in Birmingham.

Niamh and Finn will compete in Germany and France respectively EMN-191114-150724002

Niamh and Finn will compete in Germany and France respectively EMN-191114-150724002

“When I first got the call-up I was extremely happy because it showed my work over the past season had paid off and I’ve hit my goal to get into the squad,” Finn said.

“I’m going to focus on more higher-level senior men’s opens to prepare myself for the older age groups, to give me more experience, and over the next few years, I’ll be hoping to get a call-up for Great Britain’s under 20s.”

Brother and sister have both come a long way in a short space of time, having started fencing about seven years ago at their village club, Frisby Fencers, under the tutelage of coach Richard Sharpe.

Quickly progressing, they were soon facing regular commutes to Peterborough to train at the OPS Epee Club.

Making sacrifices for her sport, Niamh then left the comfort of the Frisby family home to study at specialist sports college Hartpury College, in Gloucester, becoming the first fencer to enrol at the college.

Here she juggled the heavy academic demands of A-Levels with a two-year advanced apprenticeship in sporting excellence.

“After hearing I was selected for the World Cup I was really happy and excited the training and effort I’ve put in over the last two years with my coach and personal trainer had finally paid off,” said Niamh (18).

“I’m grateful to everyone who supported me through the training process.

“I’m now focusing on getting good quality sparring in, while competing in open events to increase my senior women’s ranking, as well as fencing for the University of Liverpool in BUCS (British University and College Sports).”

Goals in sport are not met without dedication, and as well as weekly training with OPS Epee on Mondays, Finn also travels to Derbyshire most Tuesdays to spar with high-level fencers.

British Fencing have also given him a place on their Athlete Development Programme, which is combined with a Diploma in Sporting Excellence.

Great Britain coach John Rees hopes both siblings can grab their latest opportunity.

“This is Niamh’s first time at this level and will be great experience as she looks to develop in the under 20 and under 23 age groups,” he said.

“It will give her a real benchmark for her on-going training and development.

“Finn has a great chance to test himself in Europe against some of the best in the world at under 17s.

“It will be a great experience for him, and hopefully the beginning of many.”