Alexsandra Wawrzonek in action.
A Laois teenager has become the number 1 female fencer in Ireland.
Aleksandra Wawrzonek, 17, a 5th year student in Portlaoise College, has just been ranked in Number One in Women's Foil by Fencing Ireland.
"With the National Championships finished, the 2021/’22 Irish fencing season has come to an end and it is time to recognise the best ranked fencers in the country. Today we celebrate the top ten in Women’s Foil," the organisation said on May 4.
A delighted Aleksandra has spoken to the Leinster Express about her sport.
She got interested in fencing when she began her secondary education in Dunamase College in Portlaoise.
"For me it started in first year, it was part of the school programme. I decided to try it because I like individual sports and combat, and I just caught onto it.
In 2019 she joined the the 'Adrian Lee International Fencing' in Ireland.
"I had a Hungarian coach for the past two years. I train three times a week in Dublin. There have not been many competitions in 2019 and 2020 because of Covid, so I had a long down time. I spent a lot of time training alone in the sitting room at home, following my coach online using Zoom with the laptop propped up.
"It is hard work I guess," she said.
Aleksandra is heading to Normandy in France this week for intense tournament competitions, in the ISF ISF Gymnasiade,the largest international multi-sport and educational event for school students aged 16-18 years old. It takes place every four years.
"In the long term I hope to keep my rank pretty high in Ireland, and represent the Republic of Ireland in international championships. My parents are from Poland but I am here since I was two, I am 18 this year. This is my home," she said.
She thanks her parents Marcin and Agnieszka for supporting her sport, which her little brother Matthew, 9, is now starting to play as well.
"I thank them because it is a long distance three times a week to train in Dublin. And they pay for my gear. I could have gone for some simpler sport. There is so much gear, protective gear and electronic wires for my blade. It is all pretty pricy. If I get to a level that I have a sponsor that would be great but right now I am still on my own doing it," the fencer said.
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