Kevin Milne and Liz Anderson from West Lothian Fencing Club are proud to have created a welcoming atmosphere within their club. What they didn't anticipate was giving families a unique and fun-filled way to spend time together.
West Lothian offers a welcoming hand to anyone wishing to start a new sporting activity while also catering for experienced fencers. But the club's unique selling point is the way it enables parents and children to take part together.
Fighting with the family
In some sports, families can participate together but usually this means training simultaneously but separately. At West Lothian, this traditional coaching style has been replaced by a different approach where kids and adults are coaching in unison.
Coach Liz says: “For a while we did the adult and kids training separately but then it dawned on us … why do that if they can all do it together and enjoy building connections?
"Fencing is about using your mind and tactics, so for us, the age doesn’t matter that much."
The merging of the adult and children’s sessions has been greatly appreciated by Thea, nine, who has enjoyed the time bonding with her family.
Thea says: “My mum and grandad were fencing and I really wanted to try it. It was like Zorro.
"We can get a little bit competitive. Mum thinks that because she’s older she can beat me but I’m definitely quicker."
The opportunity to fence as a family has turned many parents from 'taxi drivers' into fencing participants in their own right. Within the club there has been a repeated pattern that many of the parents bringing their children to a session eventually find themselves being compelled to join in.
Fencing for everyone
West Lothian is also proud to be accessible and welcoming to anyone with a disability, including wheelchair users. Kevin and Liz are determined to offer the sport of fencing to as many people as possible.
Liz says: “The perception is that fencing is a high-maintenance, expensive sport. At West Lothian Fencing Club we provide all of the equipment here. We try to make it accessible to everyone. It’s affordable … and really fun."
The move has been appreciated by members. Club regular Donna Todd says: “Liz and Kevin are very approachable, they make it really fun. They provide us with the equipment we need. Some of it is their own, some of it is borrowed from other clubs, but it’s definitely been good for getting this community more active.”
West Lothian Fencing Club are always open to new members. To get involved in fencing, you can find your nearest club following the link below.