Eileen Pitman

Very sad news, Eileen Pitman passed away. Eileen was a stalwart of Sussex Fencing for as long as anyone can remember, possibly 60 years, including nearly half a century as a member of the committee. Fencer, coach, organiser, county secretary and SE Region committee member. Her contribution to fencing was recognised in 2006 with the award of an MBE in the New Years Honours List.

Eileen was a successful fencer, winning the Womens Championship 3 times, 1962, 63 and 64 and also competing Internationally. In addition to organising hundreds of local competitions, she started the Portslade Junior International, which later became the Sussex Open. She was an inspiration to young fencers, coaching youngsters who went on to be successful fencers.

I would just like to share with you a paragraph from a letter that Eileen wrote to me in 1994, thanking me for refereeing at the Portslade Junior International that illustrates the time, effort and dedication that Eileen put into the Sport:

I am sorry that I couldn’t write to you immediately after the competition, but I have been up to my ears this week, first arranging a junior squad training,which we had today, then a sabre session for next Saturday and an epee and foil session for the following week. As it means getting the venues and then notifying everyone, you can imagine why I have been so busy. On top of that I attended a sports conference yesterday and there is another one on Tuesday and finally, I had to send out the press reports for the competition.

Brian Causton  Chairman
Jim Whelan Secretary

Eileen was my first fencing coach and so is responsible for my earliest memories of fencing. She taught me to love technique and footwork, and more importantly, how to focus… Any time I’d lift my mask to wipe my face or fiddle with my hair she’d say ‘stop fussing’, encouraging me to ignore the distraction. This served me very well in later years when trying to fence with sweat in my eyes or the pressure of an important competition. Her no-nonsense but encouraging coaching style was perfect! Eileen inspired me to not only choose fencing for my athletic career of 17 years 1990-2007 but also to make coaching my profession, starting my own club in 2002. My goal is now to inspire others the way she did me. 

Eileen had endless enthusiasm and energy for fencing, making her a true advocate for the sport. My heart goes out to her family, especially Justin and Dominic, both of whom I had the privilege of fencing ‘back in the day’.

Jo Maynard

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Upcoming Competitions in South East Region

The South East Senior Sabre and GB cup qualifier

This will be held on  22/2/2020 at Sevenoaks Preparatory school

Entry is limited so get your entries in ASAP 👍 entry is via Sport80

Men’s Sabre check in at 10.am, Women’s Sabre check in at 11.15am. Team event check in after other events have concluded (entry on the day)

The winners get an automatic place in the South East (defending champions) Senior Winton Team!” There will also be prizes for best veteran, best intermediate and best cadet

South East Region BYC

29th Feb Epee & Sabre, 1st March Foil.

Both at Whitgift school, Croydon. Again entry is via Sport80 . More detailed information here

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2019 Cadet Winton Report

CADET WINTON CUP 14TH-15TH DECEMBER 2019 by Kate Morwell-Neave

The Cadet Winton this year was enjoyed by all that attended and we managed a very credible second after the scores had been verified, there were four teams tied till the very last fight of the competition! Our foil teams excelled and won individual trophies as well as both team, the ladies only conceding 7 fights all weekend, a truly magnificent effort. The teams were as follows and I want to personally congratulate all of them for a brilliant effort. A special mention has to made top Georgia Silk who not only picked up the individual foil trophy but also beat the number one ranked sabre as she valiantly stood in for Amelie on the Sunday, a truly brilliant performance at 5-2!

I would like to thank you my support team who were indispensable and I hope will be up for a repeat performance in 2020!

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