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Grandma Viv adds Euro gold to title haul

STRATFORD has a new European Champion...and it might not be what you think!

76-year-old Vivien Frith has just won gold at the European Veterans Fencing Championships in France. She is now Over 70's Sabre European champion. And if that was not enough, she was also named European Veteran Fencer of the Year in the same category.

Vivien Frith on her way to gold at the European Veterans Fencing Championships.
Vivien Frith on her way to gold at the European Veterans Fencing Championships.

The retired account manager - who lives near Rugby but fences for Shakespeare Swords - is no stranger to winning at this level though, having won gold at every European Veterans Fencing Championships since 2017. This is also the third consecutive year she has been named European Veteran Fencer of the Year.

"I am so happy to have come away having successfully defended my title again, " said Frith. "And to get Fencer of the Year again was just the icing on the cake"

She added: "It definitely gets tougher each year with amazing fencers from across Europe, many of them who have fenced most of their lives at very high levels coming into this category, but training with the incredible team at Shakespeare Swords, with fencers of all ages from primary school up, keeps me at the top of my game."

Frith's success is particularly amazing when you consider that she actually only took up the sport 17 years ago.

"I had always wanted to fence but did not have the time until my children had grown up," explained the mother to four and grandmother to eight. "But once I started I could not stop and have been part of the GBR squad since 2009.

"It really is an amazing sport that not only keeps me fit but affords me the opportunity to travel the world and meet some incredible people."

Gold medallist Vivien Frith
Gold medallist Vivien Frith

Success in Europe is just the latest success for Frith this season. In the last few months she has won gold at the Guildford Veterans International, gold at the Home Nations Veterans Championships and gold at the British Veterans Championships. And there could be more to come because she has now qualified for the World Veterans Fencing Championships in America later this year.

Chris Buxton, head coach at Shakespeare Swords, said: "We pride ourselves in producing some of the best fencers in the UK who go on to represent their country at the highest level of the sport. Viv is not only one of our biggest success stories, but proof that it is never too late to take up sport and even excel."

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