2nd April 2011
Newcastle Fencing Club and Newcastle University has been granted the Inspire Mark; the badge of the London 2012 Inspire Programme. The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Lord Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “Newcastle Wheelchair Fencing Project is encouraging disabled people to fulfil their potential. I am proud that with the help of partners such as Newcastle Fencing Club and Newcastle University are delivering on our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in Wheelchair Fencing.”
Nine-time Paralympics gold medal winner and Director of Paralympics Integration, Chris Holme MBE, presented Inspire Mark certificates to Newcastle Fencing Club and Newcastle University on a visit to Newcastle University. During the visit there was a fencing demonstration by fencers from Newcastle Fencing Club, a questions session with Chris Holmes and a demonstration of wheelchair fencing with the current British Champion; Olwyn Fitzgerald.
Chris Holmes said: “I have recently visited the Newcastle Fencing Club and seen firsthand the excellent work being carried out there. The club is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when people are passionate, driven and determined to celebrate and open up their sport to all. Newcastle Fencing Club has rightly been awarded the Inspire mark by London 2012 I encourage people from across the NE to find out more and get involved with this wonderful project.”
The Newcastle Wheelchair Fencing project aims to provide fencing coaching to over one hundred and forty disabled people in the North East in the run up to the Paralympics in London 2012.
The sessions will take place in schools, health settings and community venues to make the coaching as accessible as possible and will be led by award winning fencing coach Iain Aberdeen, who has worked with fencers of all levels from beginner to international squads.
Iain Aberdeen said: “This is the latest in a series of collaborative events between Newcastle University Fencing and Newcastle Fencing Club. The wheelchair fencing campaign will use the power of Olympic and Paralympics games to inspire the next generation of fencers in the North East. We now have four wheelchair fencers training with us in the Newcastle area, which is good start and through this project we aim to increase this.’