Stockport Tigers is a fencing club for children aged 8 - 16 years. We meet on Saturday mornings, 10:00 - 12:00 at The University of Manchester's Armitage Sports Complex in Fallowfield. Most of the older children also often train at the Senior Club on Monday and/or Wednesday evenings.
We aim to provide children with a sound technical introduction to fencing, in a safe and fun environment. We actively encourage children and their parents to join and/or become engaged with the youth structures of British Fencing, who are the national governing body for the sport. Competition is the natural context for a duelling sport and there are a wide range of events regionally and nationally, suitable for all ages and abilities.
The Coaches at Stockport Tigers are registered, insured and CRB checked. All of them are highly experienced and have also fenced individually at the Senior Club.
Places at the Stockport Tiger sessions on Saturday mornings are limited and we normally assess our ability to take on new starters just before each term commences. However, we can provide taster sessions at the Senior Club throughout the term. If you wish to apply for your child to have a place or arrange a taster session then do email us. We will need to know:
- Your child's name
- Your child's date of birth
- Whether your child is left or right handed (fencing kit is orientated)
- Whether your child is average size for age (we like to get a reasonable fit)
- Whether your child has any medical conditions relevant to exercise or fencing e.g. diabetes, asthma, heart conditions, allergies, ADHD (we are an inclusive club and just want to ensure everyone can be kept safe).
Parents are welcome to observe our Saturday Training Sessions and we positively encourage parents to do so. We also ask parents to volunteer to assist us at sessions from time to time...
An ideal age for a child to start fencing with us on Saturday mornings would be 8 - 10 years.
The minimum age for children starting with us is 8 years old. We have found that at younger ages children struggle to maintain posture because the weapon is simply too heavy for them (even in a child size). Fencing is like dance or music, in which unwanted muscle tension can inhibit precision and posture. Intellectual and emotional development is also helpful for fencing, so that the children have greater insight into technique and safety.
At ages 12 and over, a child taking up fencing from scratch who intends to progress competitively will have some catching up to do. It is a manageable task but will not be achieved by one training session per week. so would involve attending the Senior Club (accompanied by an adult) or making other additional provision.
Teenagers wishing to take up fencing from scratch are best advised to attend the Senior Club.
We are happy to explain training options which are progressive and realistic for any child.
As a community club we aim to make fencing as affordable as we can and assist wherever possible with kit, lessons and shared transport. We are ambitious for all the children to become competitive fencers, subject to their age and ability. As a community club that is a particular challenge and can only be realistic with active parental support. Like many sports and activities, additional cost is inevitable as children progress.
The subscription for the Saturday morning sessions is based upon £6 per week and typically works out at £48 - £78 per term. Training days, which are optional, involve an additional cost of £15 - £20.
Full kit is provided on loan to the children and at no additional cost. If a child continues fencing for more than a couple of terms, we expect parents gradually to acquire their own kit and can assist to source it at reasonable cost. The cost of a full set of fencing kit is comparable to the cost of a computer games console and accessories.
Fencing is an unusual sport in that, much like learning a musical instrument, regular individual lessons are necessary to make progress. Indeed, most club and competitive fencers continue with lessons throughout their careers. We try to provide the children with sufficient support to reach novice competition standard and then find a way to give lessons to those who wish to continue. We have capacity to give many lessons free of additional charge and at the Senior Club lessons are given on a similar basis. However, we are a community club and there are limitations to the provision we can make for an affordable subscription cost. It is an inescapable fact that the majority of children who are successful at competition will be having weekly private lessons with a long term coach. For those parents who wish to do this, we are happy to recommend local coaches able to assist and the cost of tuition will likely be similar to music lessons.
It will be necessary for your child to join British Fencing (£30 per annum) and there will be occasional competition entry fees (typically £10 - £20). We don't provide transport to competitions and recommend that if your child does enter a competition, you come along to watch and support them.