Imperium Investments and the Brixton Fencing Club have joined forces in a campaign to allow children across Lambeth to experience fencing.
The initiative, called the Imperium Academy, is designed to make the sport more accessible to local youngsters. The academy will contact children via schools and offer free and subsidised training. It will also donate new equipment to the Brixton Fencing Club to enhance the experience of children having their first taste of the sport at Brixton Rec.
Imperium Investment’s managing director and founder, Dmitry Leus, is a patron of the sport and was once a European champion. “Fencing is a fantastic sport, one that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy,” he said.
The Rec was a perfect partner for the academy, given its history of hosting the Brixton Fencing Club, one of the most successful clubs in the country, he said. Chris Tidmarsh, chairman of the club’s committee, said it was delighted to play a role at the new academy.
“It is so important that this great sport be open and accessible to all,” he said. “Yes, we’d love to be giving some future champions their first start, but we are also passionate about exposing as many kids as possible to the life skills and commitment that come from getting involved in fencing.
“We are sometimes unfairly viewed as an elitist sport and we want to be sure our doors are open.” Paul Sanchez, the UK’s top ranked male fencer, trains at the Rec and is fully behind the project. “This is a great initiative to get kids of all backgrounds trying out the sport,” he said. “Maybe one of them could soon be after my ranking!”