Hannah Lawrence is on the Great Britain fencing team for Women’s Epee. She is currently ranked 2nd in the UK. Hannah was also the captain of the England Team at the Commonwealth Championships 2014 where the group won a bronze medal.
“I now work full time in HR and live in Manchester, however, I still fence for Wingerworth Fencing Club and regularly come home to train with the continuously improving club. We currently hold the national club title, and 2 of the 5 Commonwealth Team are at the club, with two others regularly travelling from Harrogate and Wigan to train there.
“Wingerworth Fencing Club isn’t just for elite athletes though. My mum started fencing about 6 years ago and loves it and we have lots of beginners courses starting all the time.
“I started fencing when I was around 14 years old at Wingerworth Fencing Club, which welcomes, encourages and nurtures everyone who comes through the Sharley Park doors whether you want to have fun, or represent your country. Their love of the sport (and their lifts to various national competitions) inspired me to keep fencing despite GCSE’s, A Levels, Pizza Hut shifts and the bright lights of “Chez Vegas”.
“Brookfield Community School also supported me during my time there – finding funding from Derbyshire Sports Council and giving me free use of the Manor at Brampton’s facilities for fitness and the school sports hall for lessons during lunch times.
“When I moved to Manchester in 2007 to go to university, despite representing Great Britain on the International Junior Circuit, my funds began to run out – but Chesterfield provided for me once again. In true Chesterfield style, my friend’s sister’s friend, who worked at Steria Ltd, offered me sponsorship after I became Senior National Champion, and opened the door to a whole host of new opportunities. I was then able to compete at the Australian Youth Olympics 2009 winning a bronze and gold medal, The World Student Games 2010 and then was selected for the Senior Great Britain Team where I have represented my country at World Cups and Championships all over the world.
“Without the community spirit of Chesterfield I would never have had the drive to achieve what I have. Even now that I am working full time and doing a part-time masters degree, Wingerworth Fencing Club continues to inspire me to keep fencing.