Kingswood Head Boy, 17-year-old Ben Bates qualified as the Great British U23 foil champion in London over the Easter holidays and will now go on to represent Great Britain in Bulgaria next month.
Ben will be representing GB in the U23 European Men’s foil Championships which are being held in Bulgaria in May 2016.
Ben started fencing at age 10 at Bath Sword Club and by the age of 13 was competing regularly.
He was first selected to represent England in the U15 Paris Fleurette and then went on to represent Great Britain in the U17 team competing in Bratislava, Poland and France.
The pinnacle of his U17 fencing came with a bronze medal at the U17 Commonwealth Fencing Competition in Cape Town last Summer.
This season has been Ben’s first in the U20 Junior age group where he is currently ranked 7th in the UK. British Fencing have entered Ben into their World Class Program.
Ben has been a Kingswood pupil since nursery and is currently studying A levels in Maths, Chemistry and Biology. He is a keen member of ‘Exit Stage Right’ the Kingswood stand-up comedy group and hopes to gain a place to study medicine in 2017 following a gap year to concentrate on his fencing.
Ben said: “It is a wonderful feeling to represent your country in a sport you enjoy as much as I do. We have to train hard, both here in Bath and Bristol, plus national training sessions in London.
“It is sometimes difficult to balance the training commitment needed with studying for ‘A levels however the Kingswood staff have been extremely supportive with keeping my school work on track and facilitating part of my training within school which saves me valuable time.
“My friends here at Kingswood have also been a real source of support.”
Head of Kingswood Foundation, Simon Morris said: “Ben has been an excellent role model and leader for the younger pupils here at the school both in his role as Head Boy and also with his fencing.
“We are extremely proud of him and I am sure the whole school will be cheering him on in May!”