Name: Maggie Tait
I have been an active member of the Orkney Fencing Club for 27 years.
I have a tremendous enthusiasm for this sport and I love doing it. I like to encourage anyone who shows interest to give it a go.
I hope I can inspire others. By going to the Club, and being visible practicing my footwork and various training routines, the youngsters can see what’s involved.
Being older and competing in the Vets circuit demonstrates that sporting opportunities continue to exist. As a mature woman I hope that other women can see that they can still go back to their sport after bringing up their families.
I love learning, and over these past two years my coach has completely changed the way I fence.
The current challenge is to practice the new training regime under competition conditions. This takes time, patience and persistence.
Over the last year the Scottish Women’s epee team, of which I am part, won silver at the vets 4 Nations. A hard fought and well-earned medal.
I also competed in the European Championships in Cognac in May. I fenced well and was 3rd placed British vet. This was really hard, but secured my place in the GB squad for the vet’s World Championships in Cairo last October.
My goals for this coming year are as ever - to improve my fencing. My mantra is performance first, results will follow. I have two qualifying events coming up next month, the 4 nations in April and the Vets Commonwealths in Canada in July. The Vets World Championships are in October and I would love to be part of that too.
With the level of competition that I compete at, a high training routine is required. A typical week will involve three runs, fencing time, FatBurn Extreme, yoga and visits to the gym. This can be around 15 hours per week, though this will vary according to whether I have a competition or a training week in Edinburgh.
Fencing has greatly helped my fitness - particularly strength, flexibility and stamina. I also do a lot of cross training such as running, yoga and body weight/gym work to make me fit for the sport.
The Orkney Fencing Club have been very supportive of my efforts. The seniors will come and train with me so I can practice. Sparring with opponents is essential and having the space to do this is a necessity.
Having an ActiveLife membership is integral to my training. Picky offers me space and that has been a huge help. I also use the gym, go to cardio cycle classes and use floor space in the arena or squash courts to fence.
I feel really lucky in that since I started Fencing, I have experienced so much. Starting with regional competitions and gradually broadening my field to nationals and represented Scottish B team.
As a vet I have represented Scotland at both senior and veteran’s level, represented GB at three World Championships and two European Championships. This has taken me all around the globe.
To compete at this level, it is essential to have a good coach working with you. My coach is in Edinburgh. This all takes time and money, so it has been really good for me to get sponsorship from Picky, and I have appreciated this.