England come calling for Gravesham fencer

News Shopper: Cameron Prior Cameron Prior

GRAVESHAM Fencing Club’s Cameron Prior refused to be sidelined following a serious injury and recently has qualified to complete for England in Poland next month.

Last year was shaping up to be a very successful year for Prior in the world of fencing.

Having won two national competitions in 2010, he was hotly tipped to win the U14 epee British championships and achieve his aim of representing his country.

But a freak accident at the beginning of 2011 resulted in surgery to his fencing hand, jeopardising his chances of qualifying for England.

A long road to recovery followed and undeterred he decided to continue fencing by switching to his left hand to keep his hopes of representing his country alive.

Following support from the physiotherapy units at both Guildford and Darenth Valley hospitals, Prior was able to launch an attack on qualifying for England with just a few events remaining.

With great determination and support from his family and coaches, the 14-year-old took full advantage of the chances available by finishing the year strongly.

He won in Truro and enjoyed a pair of third-place finishes in Blackpool and Plymouth in the Leon Paul Junior Series to finish second overall.

These results were complimented with a win in the Kent U16 epee championships to put Prior in contention for England and is quite possibly the start of a promising International career.

The young Olympic hopeful said: “I am very pleased to achieve this and want to thank everybody who helped me, especially the medical team for sorting my hand.”

Prior will join fellow Gravesend Grammar school pupil Tyler Lucas and 10 others from around the UK to represent England at the annual challenge Wratislava tournament in Poland in March.

“It is an event which attracts some of the best young fencers from all over the world and a very proud moment for me, my family, coaches and club,” he added.

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