World Number One Para-Fencing Champion! VB pupil, Josh, sets sights on Olympics 2020

November 2018

Venerable Bede C of E Academy pupil Josh Waddell (Y10) recently returned from an international wheelchair fencing competition in Hungary.  At the competition he competed in both the foil and epee, often fencing against adults.  Josh performed well in the events despite competing against older and more experienced fencers – he is the youngest competitor in the Senior events – with his performance in epee proving to be his better event.

At the competition, he received official confirmation of his world ranking for 2017 and was presented with a trophy naming him as the U17 Men’s Epee World Number One.  This is a fantastic achievement and one that Josh, his family and friends, and all at Venerable Bede are, rightly, proud of.

Despite his already considerable and impressive achievements, Josh is not one to rest on his laurels.  He is working towards a new goal – to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games!  However, as with many sports, wheelchair fencing is expensive: there is equipment to purchase, entry fees to competitions and travel costs to meet.  Whilst Josh can access the training and coaching provided by Team GB, many of the other costs are met by family – an average competition can cost around £2,500.  To help Josh realise his Tokyo ambitions, the family have set up a ‘Justgiving’ crowd funding page to try and raise the money to meet the cost of attending future competitions which is essential to maintain world ranking as well as for qualification for Tokyo.

Over the next several months, Venerable Bede will be working on a number of projects to try to raise additional funds as well as continuing to support him through his education – Josh is also a hard-working student who hopes to work in the field of sports psychology in the future. Josh embodies our core values of joy and perseverance and we hope that with our support, and that of others, he will be able to live out our school motto, ‘Soar to the heights together’.

Details of the crowdfunding page can be found by following this link:

On this page you can read full details of Josh’s story.  All donations will be gratefully received and all of the money raised will go to support Josh in achieving his goals.