PUPILS at Longleaze Primary School have completed a six-week sword fencing course during their PE lessons.

The lessons ensured all pupils achieved their British Fencing Association Grade One award in foil.

Throughout the course, the youngsters learnt different aspects of the physically demanding and mentally challenging sport.

From a class of beginners, they have learnt how to stand ‘en guarde’ while moving backwards and forwards as well as using the space available to lure their opponents into striking distance.

Lessons focussed on the benefits of attacks and the need for a solid defensive approach to prevent being hit.

In addition, all pupils received a letter from coach and class leader Neil Bromley to attend four free sessions on Tuesday evenings at the Oasis Leisure Centre from 7pm.

Bromley said: “The children have really taken to sword fencing and got a great buzz from a different type of physical exercise whilst learning lots too.

“Fencing is great for all-round fitness, muscle toning, building core strength, coordination and balance.

“As competitors lunge at each other, it helps improve the flexibility in the thighs, hips, glutes, upper back, lower back and shoulders.

“Fencing’s unique mix of physical and intellectual stimulation can burn approximately 400 calories per hour, so the children certainly get a workout each session.

“Since you need to make lightning-fast decisions, it is also excellent for concentration and focus, all of which I think appeals to children regardless of their age.”