At GO GO Makers we have teamed up with We Are Forging Futures in association with British Fencing to harness the exciting world of swordplay. As part of a distinctive learning journey we strive to inspire children to engage in physical activity, unlock untapped potential, renew self-belief and open up a world of possibilities. Rest assured – all swords are foam or plastic, and sessions delivered with staff who are highly qualified!
Fencing as a sport dates back to the 15th century, and offers so much to aid children’s development from mental agility to physical reaction times. It allows a unique opportunity to build confidence in a safe and respectful setting. As an olympic sport, participants use an épée, foil or sabre – some of the kit can be quite cool! No longer is it only a sport enjoyed by a privileged few, as we open it up to our lovely children in Warwickshire!
The We Are Forging Futures fencing programme is aligned with the Ofsted Resilience and Self-Efficacy programme which makes it a perfect fit for GO GO Makers children as we strive to support their development from every angle.
Is Fencing a Good Sport for Children?
Absolutely! Fencing is a great sport for children to experience, because it emboldens them to make swift decisions and offers a new dynamic to more conventional sports. It quickly challenges participants’ self-perceptions around their willingness or ability to participate in sport, whilst being accessible to everyone – even those challenged with motor skills or limited mobility. It’s also a highly skilled-based sport, so can push the boundaries of conventional sports and reveal abilities you never knew existed.
Fencing also fires the imagination (who doesn’t love a bit of swashbuckling swordplay?) and allows an outlet for children to spar safely and learn their limits. This in turn can aid communication and build trust between peers to create a lasting experience.
3 Ways Fencing as a Sport can Support your Child’s Development
Aside from the numerous benefits of any sport for children, we think fencing is particularly fascinating when it comes to the particular development of your child. It contributes towards improved mental health through confidence-building, physical development through hand-eye coordination, and communications through body language and spoken word.
We explore each of these areas below.
Fencing and Swordplay for Mental Health
In what can seem like a busy and competitive world, we understand the need to build confidence, self-esteem and resilience. This can start early on in a child’s life, and is often something that starts with school, but needs to be supported from all aspects. Fencing can calm anxiety by focussing the mind and improving concentration. This gives the brain a break from multi-tasking and allows development of observational skills.
Children can achieve success in fencing with a simple wave of the sword to block an opponent. Furthermore, it enables everyone to see themselves, their challenges – and those of others – differently.
Physical benefits of Fencing as a Sport
There is no doubt that fencing can offer cardiovascular benefits which are just as important for children as they are for adults. The explosive nature of the sport means that both physical and mental agility can develop, because of the strategic approach and physical strength required. A GO GO Makers, our sessions will be delivered in a way that is fun and accessible to all, by celebrating improvements at every level and everyone’s participation.
Fencing and Communication
Have you ever heard the fact that 80% of communication is non-verbal? Well, according to research it’s actually more like 93%. Fencing and swordplay makes perfect use of the whole range of communications through stance, expression, reaction and clusters or combinations of the above. For children who struggle to express themselves verbally, fencing offers a welcome chance to shine. In fact, for children with ADD or ADHD who may struggle with concentration, it’s actually been found to help focus the mind and improve enjoyment of the sport.
Swordplay and the Imagination
At GO GO Makers we’re all about FUN! Whilst the sport of Fencing offers many benefits for children, we also recognise the need to engage hearts and minds. We’ll use role play and themes to make the sport accessible to children, and make sure that competition is healthy and respectful. One of the benefits of a competitive sport like this is that it forges connections between opponents. No matter who wins a bout, everyone can benefit from the experience.
We’ll also include an element of creativity as we engage the imagination and take children on a journey of discovery. They’ll learn how to move, communicate and defend through the art of storytelling and imaginative play.
How to get involved
We will be offering Fencing as an activity at all of our Holiday Camps from January 2024, and can’t wait to open up this wonderful opportunity to you all. We’re delighted to be partnered with the specialists at British Fencing through the We Are Forging Futures initiative, in order to offer this exciting sport and expand our activities.
What are you waiting for? En guarde!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q- Is fencing a safe sport for children?
A- Absolutely. Children use foam or plastic swords and our fencing instructors are all trained to a high standard – your child’s safety is paramount.
Q- What age can children start fencing?
A- At GO GO Makers children can start from age 6 and we tailor the session based on age range and ability so that all children take part at a level appropriate to their development.
Q- Are children with special educational needs able to take part in fencing?
A- As it focuses attention and allows for one to one activity, fencing can actually help children with conditions such as ADHD. Children use swords appropriate to their age and ability, so nobody is left out.
Q- Are staff qualified to teach fencing?
A- Yes – Staff who deliver our fencing sessions have all received high quality fencing training and we use safe equipment for children, appropriate to their age and ability. We’ll get creative to bring out the fun side of the sport, and offer options for all abilities.
Q- My child has complex needs – can they take part?
A- Every child is unique – if you’re at all concerned please speak to us so that we can advise on the best approach for your child, because it’s important to us that every GO GO Maker is included.