YOUNG fencer Arlen Veysey, who lives in South Chard and is currently studying at the University of Exeter, is steadily rising up the national rankings and has some exciting challenges ahead, writes Richard Browne.

The 18-year-old, who previously attended Holyrood Academy, fences in the Epee discipline and is seventh in the South West in his category.

Having been injured last year, this year sees him on the cusp of the top 200 nationally.

Veysey said: “I started fencing five or six years ago, when my parents encouraged me to take up a sport.

“I thought I would try something different; I went to a sports fair and found my local club.”

In his case that was Wellington Swords, and now the University of Exeter Fencing Club, where he holds the posts of armourer and competitions secretary.

Last month saw him represent Devon at the National Inter-County Excalibur event in Bath, and he has been chosen to represent the South West region at the GB Cup this month.

The GB Cup was only started last year, to promote fencing for those outside the top 50 in the senior rankings, but still Veysey is part of an elite group in being selected.

After training over the summer, September will see him return to university and his organisational role with the club there.

Participation-wise, he hopes to be involved in the Elite Epee Series – competitions held around the country for ranking points – as well as the Nordic Challenge in Stockholm in October, and the International Fencing Challenge in Paris at the start of 2020.

With coaching qualifications to build on as well, there’s no doubt that fencing will keep him very busy over the next few months and years.