SWINDON fencer Edward Scott Payne has been invited to join the British Fencing Talent Programme for U17s four years early, in the discipline of Epee where the entire body is valid target in a fencing duel.

The 13-year-old former Prior Park pupil will take part in five Cadet training camps over the course of the next year with the first taking place this month at the renowned Leon Paul Fencing Centre in London.

In addition, British Fencing are also piloting a Talent Development Centre in conjunction with the University of Bath.

Athletes who regularly access the University of Bath will be able to benefit from tailored support delivered by the University in partnership with British Fencing which is something Scott Payne is keen to pursue.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity.

"My first taste of international honours came earlier this year where I represented England in both epee and foil at Challenge Wratislavia, an international competition held in Poland.

“I was pleased to finish ninth out of 217 competitors in my age group and know being part of British Fencing’s Talent Programme will help me achieve greater success in future.”

Swindon Fencing Club president Neil Bromley added: “I have coached Ed since he started fencing at the age of eight.

"His dedication to the sport is truly remarkable - fencing is in his blood. “He was the first U13 England fencer to represent his country in two weapon disciplines at the same competition earlier this year in Poland where he acquitted himself extremely well.

“His enrolment on British Fencing’s National Talent Programme shows what an elite talent he is.”