I recently attended the Bill Hoskyns open epee in Kidderminster which went quite well considering I hadn't done much fencing recently due to my A/S exams. I managed to boost my under 20 ranking from around 50th to 31st which is a step in the right direction.
I am still part of the World Class Talent Programme so I still travel to London regularly to train.
Initially I got involved in fencing at age 7 quite simply because I needed something to do on a Saturday morning while my mum was at work and the fencing class filled the time slot.
I enjoy being a sportsman because a lot of skills that I have gained in sport translate into situations outside of sport such as being organised for college and keeping a cool head during exams.
My sporting heroes would probably be all of the veterans at my club because even after over 50 years of participation in some cases, they all still love doing sport.
A typical week for me would be college from 9:00-4:30 every day with fencing training on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also coach the juniors at my local club on saturday mornings from 9:00-12:00. I have competitions regularly at weekends and once a month I travel to London to train with the World Class Talent Programme which I have been on for a year now. Any free time I have I spend with friends and family.
My TS5C grant has helped me by easing the financial pressures of keeping up with the costs of training, traveling to competitions (including plane flights and hotels for internationals) and the upkeep of my kit which must be of the highest standard to even be allowed into the level of competition in which I compete due to safety reasons. Without the grant, I would not be able to remain one of the best fencers of my age group in Britain because since fencing is dominated by private schools, paying for training and traveling to competitions is less of an issue for the majority of my competitors.
Alan Gloak, Chairman of TS5C stands next to Young Sports Achiever of the Year Winner Jaibez Macriner (archery) and the two highly commended individuals Elliot Scott (left, athletics) and Josh Stevens (right, fencing), who received their awards at the SASP Somerset Sports Awards 2014
Full report to follow shortly
Clip of Josh fencing in the U15 English Youth Championship Final (which he won) and the London International Senior Open where he finished an excellent 21st