As the recipient of the Dave Jerry Bursary, I would like to express my thanks to the Academy. Dave instilled me with Academy values when I was young, and I have sought to carry these through. Dave was an inspirational coach, with a wealth of knowledge, and supported me all throughout my early days as a sabreur. To have been granted a bursary to pursue more knowledge around fencing in his name, as well as the being given the opportunity to pass on that knowledge is a real privilege.
While undertaking the Level 1 Coaching course with Professor Peter Northam, I have been exposed to the many opportunities the Academy offers to its coaches. Under Peter’s guidance and support, I have been able to develop myself as a coach, and provided my own take and style to conventions and approach problems in my own way. I have developed ten-fold, and (whilst coming in with certain preconceptions as to what makes a coach), will leave the course having improved, knowing that I am going to impart my competitive knowledge onto students in a thoughtful and effective manner. Additionally, I attended a training day at King Edward’s School for Girls in Birmingham, led by six of the Academy’s masters. These men and women are very helpful and inspirational people, and to have been exposed to their teaching and knowledge (while leaving me with a slight headache) left me inspired to take my coaching further.
Upon completion of my Level 1 Course, I aim to keep my coaching going. I am strongly considering attending the Denstone course in August to sit my Level 2 Exam and Assessment to become a coach in my own right. As I have expressed to Peter, I have always aimed to do my diploma in sabre (at the very least), and wish to join the ranks of the fencing masters. The bursary has allowed me to take the first steps towards this dream, and I wish to thank the Academy unreservedly for this amazing opportunity.