We were thrilled to interview Eda (Mcgregor House), the first-place champion of the 2023 London Regional Youth Fencing (U16 Epee). She is now training at the Leon Paul Fencing Club.
Eda has participated in several European Cadet Circuits (ECC) (U17) representing Germany; this allowed her to participate in tournaments across Europe. Eda has travelled and competed in Heidenheim in German, Grenoble in France, Bratislava in Slovakia and Klagenfurt in Austria. She finished 45th in Bratislava-Slovakia in January out of 270 fencers from 31 nations. She has also won the 2022 Frankfurt Region Schools U15 Championship and, along with her team, won the Hesse State Championships in U15, U17, U20, and Seniors Levels and came 5th in the German Championship.
Eda has been fencing for four and a half years and wishes to continue throughout her school life and into university. A younger Eda was interested in many sports besides fencing; she enjoys playing tennis, dancing, horse riding, surfing and many other sports, which she continues to do alongside her fencing.
When Eda first tried fencing, she wasn’t sure if it was the right fit for her and waited a couple of months to try again. She persevered and tried it again and found joy in the sport. Eda’s concentration, coordination and resilience have improved immensely through fencing. Her constant training, matches, and championship games have taught her how to deal with defeat and come back stronger.
Through fencing, Eda has learnt an immense amount and made friends from around the world as she visits many different cities for her training, tournaments, and championships. Eda’s training consists of warming up, stretching the whole body, footwork, strength training, free fencing, and 30-minute individual training with their coach.
Mill Hill International has allowed Eda to train three times a week and join the Leon Paul High-Performance Program. The School has also helped make time for her rigorous training, as she is allowed to train during prep time; this has helped her manage training whilst balancing schoolwork.
We spoke with Oana Puiu (Head of Epee, Leon Paul Fencing) to find out more about Eda’s fencing. “Welcoming Eda into the Leon Paul Project has been very positive for me as a coach. Not only is Eda already a very strong international Cadet epee fencer with huge potential, but she has also assimilated straight into the training programme and the squad at Leon Paul and has made many friends! Our training with Eda varies from footwork and technical exercises to one-to-one lessons, sparring, and competitions. Having a young fencer of her character, ability and attitude joining our sessions has been a pleasure for us. Working one-on-one with a fencer who learns fast and is hungry to improve and grow as an athlete is always rewarding for a coach, and we hope to welcome Eda back to Leon Paul after her time at Mill Hill has finished.”
In addition, Jon Salfield, Head of Performance at Leon Paul Fencing, had the following to say about fencing more generally at The Mill Hill School Foundation. “Here at Leon Paul Fencing, we are lucky to have the UK’s premier purpose-built fencing centre. Having such a fantastic sports school like Mill Hill, Mill Hill International and Belmont in such close proximity has proved to be a fantastic opportunity for both parties. Modern fencing is a fast, exciting and fun sport for all ages. However, the benefits of fencing far outweigh the obvious ones of improving general fitness, flexibility, balance, spatial awareness, reflexes and coordination. The highly focused, technical and disciplined nature of the sport also helps its participants to develop self-control, calmness under pressure, strategic thinking, a strong work ethic, and many other mental skills and strong character traits which are hugely beneficial in both academic and professional spheres.”
Eda looks forward to participating in the German Championships in April and, hopefully, the British Championships in May. We wish her all the very best in her future competitions and look forward to hearing more about her continued success after she has left Mill Hill International. We consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to have such a dedicated and focused fencer who has been able to juggle the competing demands of fencing and studies. Well done, Eda!