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Gangsta G
-3rd February 2005, 20:04
Hi everyone. I'm a sabruer and a new user on the fencing forum. I'm in Upper 6th and am currently applying to university. I have applied to Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Oxford Brookes and Nottingham. What is the fencing like at these unis?

I have heard that Birmingham are good, and was told that Louise Bond-Williams chose Birmingham because of their fencing before she went to Ohio so presumably they must be pretty good (also near Shakespeare's Swords)... Leeds are apprently quite high in the Busa rankings. Oxford Brookes, presumably I'd be allowed to use the Oxford salle which is apparently good? Glasgow... I don't think I'd want to go there anyway as it's too far from home!

Thanks in anticipation of your help...

:)

Jambo
-3rd February 2005, 20:28
For how everyone is performing in BUSA this year:

http://www.busa.org.uk/fl/fencing_leagues.asp

Quality of uni clubs can change very quickly (as people come and go), only a few are consistently strong year after year.

Birmingham and Nottingham Uni's both have decent clubs. Don't know about the others. It's worth looking at the strength of the non uni clubs in the region, they might provide better training.

What course you applying for?

Boo Boo
-3rd February 2005, 21:52
Originally posted by Gangsta G
Oxford Brookes, presumably I'd be allowed to use the Oxford salle which is apparently good?

By "Oxford Salle" do you mean Oxford University? Not necessarily - they used to (about 10 years ago!) invite some people from Oxford Brookes on an "invitation only" basis, but don't know whether they still do. Probably best to ask the current University Club committee.

There is an Oxford Fencing Club at Headington (which is where the main campus of Oxford Brookes in based) - no idea what that is like (although 10 years ago it was really quite basic and haven't heard of anyone there since...).

Probably depends how competitive you are as a fencer as to whether Oxford Brookes would work for you. If you are competitive and Oxford Uni let you fence and/or you are willing to travel to London to train, it would be fine. If you are a keen recreational fencer, I don't know (Oxford Uni might not allow you to fence there and Oxford Fencing Club is probably not very sabre oriented...).

Places like Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Bristol and Kingston are good unis for sabre. But, as Jambo says, this can change from year to year - although all of these universities have very strong clubs and coaches in the area.

Are you applying to study Architecture by any chance?

Boo

rory
-4th February 2005, 07:39
I went to Glasgow, starting in 1998. The club can be variable: in 1998 and 1999 there were some good competitive fencers there, but since then it's kind of died off a bit and is more recreational/social now. Reasonably big, say 25 fencers per night, but not a great standard.

Coaching's good though: Dave Rollo, ex-Scotland Team coach; and Ian Hunter (FIE ref) helps out too I think.

If you want good training though, you need to head through to Edinburgh (about an hour a day) which is what I do every week as I still live & work in Glasgow. Edinburgh Fencing Club is pretty good for Sabre: Chris Jamieson, Rob Anderson, Ben Hanley all turn up very regularly, along with a good half dozen others, including some very good ladies.

randomsabreur
-4th February 2005, 09:09
Nottingham have Tom Nicholls (a first year) and are coached by Peter Rome. Birmingham is OK, but a bit of a nightmare to get to clubs other than the uni unless you have a car. People from Oxford Brooks were allowed to come to Oxford Uni last year, but sabre is generally Oxford's weakest weapon.

Sheffield and Leeds are also further from where most of the competitions are held, which can be a handicap if you are doing opens.

Cheetara
-4th February 2005, 09:36
From an opposition point of view Leeds Uni fencing club have always been really friendly and last year at least they had a couple of sabruers. Sheffield also has a couple and it's a good social club too. Nottingham have managed to put 2 men's teams out this season so something good must be happening there!

jennigoodman
-4th February 2005, 10:05
Birmingham club changes every year, it depends what the club captain thinks of your weapon (at the moment sabre would be good) but since Paul Townson left the club has struggled a bit to be inclusive (IMHO). Maybe if you had the time (and inclination) you could try the clubs out before you make your decision. Contact the Athletic unions of the unis for help with this- although Brum's AU think fencing is a second rate sport.

pigeonmeister
-4th February 2005, 11:06
Originally posted by Gangsta G
I have heard that Birmingham are good, and was told that Louise Bond-Williams chose Birmingham because of their fencing before she went to Ohio so presumably they must be pretty good (also near Shakespeare's Swords)... :)

Are you a girl or boy?

We (Birmingham) are very good- but I would say that!! We have a good foil team (came 3rd, 5th and 16th at BUSA's) and Simon Marks is a geat Epeeist (but goin to France next year -curse him)
Sabre team is also descent, but will fall apart next year. Reckon we could possibly win Championship, but Cambridge, Manchester and Nottingham are very good. Cambridge tends to have a very consistent team, others come and go (we were crap 2 or 3 years ago) The good thing about Birmingham, is that Birmingham Fencing club fence at the University so you get good non-students to fence on a Thursday and can potentially train 3 times a week plus have a match on Wednesday.

For Sabre the best team is Cambridge, last year I think it was Northumbria. But Nottingham are also very good. Leeds and Sheffield are ok, but Leeds is an amazing city so go for that alone!

BTW, Louis B W had to leave Birmingham because the standard and facilities were nowhere near what she needed- so she went to Ohio. But now we have a great mens team (check the tables-he... he... smug smile..he he)


Basically come to Brum!

myopic
-4th February 2005, 16:02
One upside of going to Scotland is extra student events that your eligible for.

As well as The BUSA individuals/league and subsequent knockouts Scottish Students get their own Team and individual championships, with the teams being weapon specific (e.g a seperate Sabre championship).

Gangsta G
-4th February 2005, 16:04
Thanks a lot everyone, you've been really helpful! Keep 'em coming! In response to pigeonmeister, I'm a guy!

Well have to say I am still really undecided they all seem to have their up and down sides... :confused:

Boo Boo
-4th February 2005, 17:05
Originally posted by Gangsta G

Well have to say I am still really undecided they all seem to have their up and down sides... :confused:

What type of fencer are you: international, competitive, apiring competitive, recreational, social, novice, beginner.... somewhere in between? Do you do (or want to do) lots of opens? What is important to you as a sabre fencer?

If you tell us that, it would help. And, possibly, which courses you are looking at.

Boo

randomsabreur
-4th February 2005, 17:39
From my point of view, the most important thing about choosing a university is the course you are going to do, what specialisations and options they have. Then you have to decide if you can live in the town where the university is. Some people want to live close to home, others want to get as far away as possible. Basically depends on temperament.

If you are a serious competitive fencer, there are 2 issues, one is the ability to train, and the other is the ability to do the competition circuit.

The problem with training is often getting enough training in during a week. The uni club itself may run one or 2 nights, and depending on how serious you are that may or may not be enough. Uni clubs go through phases of having fencers in 1 weapon but not in another, and if you fence that other weapon, can be a bit of a pain. So if you are a high level fencer, the best thing is also to look for easy accessibility to clubs other than the university.

The other consideration is doing the open circuit. Whether or not this is fair is a different debate, but the major sabre events, other than the Cole Cup are all held towards the west of the country - and generally midland ish. Being at the wrong end of the M6 is not ideal for most transport plans...

Gangsta G
-5th February 2005, 16:38
Originally posted by Boo Boo
What type of fencer are you: international, competitive, apiring competitive, recreational, social, novice, beginner.... somewhere in between? Do you do (or want to do) lots of opens? What is important to you as a sabre fencer?

If you tell us that, it would help. And, possibly, which courses you are looking at.

Boo

I am a fairly competetive fencer but by no means international (35 jnr rankings). Becuase I am currently a junior I've only really been doing nominated junior events, but yeah basically I'd be looking for somewhere I can train against fencers of a reasonable standard so that it is still worthwhile me doing opens - don't want to go somewhere where there's no competition so I get progressively worse and it's pointless me doing opens!

As I'm in U 6th I've already done my application (Oxford Brookes, Nottingham, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield), the only one I haven't got an offer from yet is Nottingham. (Applied for English & Theology if you're interested). I'm not too sure yet which of these I'd like to go to so I thought if I get some advice on the fencing it might sway my decision.

Hope this helps

Thanks.

randomsabreur
-6th February 2005, 11:50
Of those I would lean towards Brooks, Nottingham and Birmingham for convenience of location at least. Nottingham currently has a v. good sabre coach, and at least one good sabreur who is in his first year (Tom Nicholls) Birmingham's top sabreurs are (I think) in their final year by now and so won't be there when you arrive.

You can get private lessons from the Oxford Uni coach (Tomek Waliki) who I found a good sabre coach even though he is best known as a foilist. The squad sessions were open to non uni fencers when I was there last year, but as I have said above, sabre is not their strongest weapon in general, although that has been know to change.

I have nothing against the other 3 unis, but they are a lot further away from most opens, which would make getting the team down to do opens together (as we did in Oxford) a lot more difficult

Dave Hillier
-6th February 2005, 12:12
Don't just look at the uni clubs, make sure that you also investigate what the town clubs are like. Uni clubs go up and down from one year to the next depending on who is running the club. Town clubs tend to be more stable and a better indication of the quality of fencing in the area.

Also if people from the town clubs go to opens then you may be able to get a lift with them.

pigeonmeister
-7th February 2005, 08:52
Originally posted by Dave Hillier
Don't just look at the uni clubs, make sure that you also investigate what the town clubs are like. Uni clubs go up and down from one year to the next depending on who is running the club. Town clubs tend to be more stable and a better indication of the quality of fencing in the area.

Also if people from the town clubs go to opens then you may be able to get a lift with them.

Good point, I forgot to say that although Brum Fencing Club shares a Thursday night with the Uni Team, they don't bring any sabreurs with them. The fact that most of our uni sabreurs are leaving this year therefore means that you might be more isolated than if you fenced foil or Epee (where the standard at both clubs is high). Our foil team will be together for at least another season after this. If Nottingham doesn't lose its sabre team then next year they will be the better choice if thats what you want.

To be honest you shouldn't make fencing a deal clincher unless your applying for a sports scholarship. Birmingham is a great uni, great city and as nice a campus as you could want. Nottingham the same. Go on gut instinct but in the knowledge that where ever you go you will have a great time and will be able to fence.

stabber
-8th February 2005, 20:42
come to sheffield.

we have gotten another grant for coaches, and as a sabreur am looking for anotha sabre coach for next year.

we have a gr8 bunch of lads here, and should hopefully be promoted to the premier leauge for next year.

WE LOVE OUR SOCIALS TOO!!!!!

pigeonmeister
-9th February 2005, 08:08
Originally posted by stabber
come to sheffield.

we have a gr8 bunch of lads here, and should hopefully be promoted to the premier leauge for next year.



I think that you might have to fence us for promotion- Assuming that you beat Lancaster. Whoever wins between us will, I think, fence Newcastle to get in Premiership.

I'm sure we fenced you in Trophy last year, have you got the same team?

Are promotion play-offs on old or new timings?

stabber
-9th February 2005, 16:04
same team... you?; didnt realise we had to fight another round before newcastle; no-one has confirmed the choice of new timings... ill get BUSA to let is all know, if they aint planning on it already.

how long is it to the knock outs anyhow?

rory
-9th February 2005, 16:10
we have a gr8 bunch of lads here, and should hopefully be promoted to the premier leauge for next year.

Don't go to Sheffield if you're studying English though...

Kepster
-10th February 2005, 00:23
Ahem, we might have something to say on that matter... see you next week!


Originally posted by stabber
come to sheffield.

we have gotten another grant for coaches, and as a sabreur am looking for anotha sabre coach for next year.

we have a gr8 bunch of lads here, and should hopefully be promoted to the premier leauge for next year.

WE LOVE OUR SOCIALS TOO!!!!!

Gangsta G
-10th February 2005, 11:22
Originally posted by stabber
come to sheffield.

we have gotten another grant for coaches, and as a sabreur am looking for anotha sabre coach for next year.

we have a gr8 bunch of lads here, and should hopefully be promoted to the premier leauge for next year.

WE LOVE OUR SOCIALS TOO!!!!!

How much longer will you be at Sheffield? I am in U6 at the moment and am taking a gap year so won't be starting until 2006

stabber
-10th February 2005, 12:29
i graduate in 2006 ... but ill prob still be hanging around in sheffield looking for work..... or doing whayt i am best at as a student - getting **** faced at nite and not doin' much in the morning, apart from Trisha, Neighbours and bbc cartoons - nuff said


YO LANCASTER.... WHEN AND WHERE ARE WE FENCING?

Cheetara
-10th February 2005, 12:51
Don't know, been into our AU this morning, and they say they get 'told' .

pigeonmeister
-10th February 2005, 14:03
Originally posted by stabber
same team... you?; didnt realise we had to fight another round before newcastle; no-one has confirmed the choice of new timings... ill get BUSA to let is all know, if they aint planning on it already.


I'm 95% sure that the play-offs are old timings (at least thats what you'l get if you come to Brum!)

Hope Lanc and Sheff knacker each other, and we can pick up the pieces! Newcastle dont look very good so I think whoever wins between us will go up (sorry Newcastle).

I'm not sure if the play-offs are at the same time, before or after the championship starts.

Oh and whats wrong with your english dept sheffield? I heard it (like almost all of Sheff Uni) was very good

stabber
-10th February 2005, 15:58
dunno bout shef's english dept.

just mine that's a little poor.

according to BUSA's statement's from december time, only the indivduals were to played under the new timings, so i agree with you that its under old timings for the knock outs and playoff stages of the tournament.

where do we find who is playing who and when - i cant see it on the BUSA webpage.

whateva happens, i am lookin fwd to more fencing this year - there clearly hasnt been enuff!

nuff sed
(HOW'S MY ENGLSH DOIN?)

Jambo
-10th February 2005, 16:50
Originally posted by pigeonmeister
Newcastle dont look very good so I think whoever wins between us will go up (sorry Newcastle).


Tell me about it :(