Belfast Telegraph

Award puts Victoria on guard for Games tilt

By Jim Gracey

A Teenage fencing champion and current North Down Young Sports Person of the Year, previously won by Rory McIlroy and Katie Kirk, is the latest Rainbow Communications Sports Award winner, in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.

Victoria Duxbury (18) will use the funding towards training costs in her bid to represent Northern Ireland in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Scotland this summer.

The Sullivan Upper student is coached by Olympic fencers Katie Arup and Johnny Davis, who was Head of Sports Delivery at the 2013 World Police and Fire Games held in Northern Ireland.

"I first encountered the Olympic sport of fencing at an open day at Sullivan Upper, when I was choosing which grammar school to attend," said Victoria.

"Fencing seemed really interesting and when I moved to the school, myself and a few friends joined the after-school fencing club.

"It was then I realised I really loved the sport. It is fast, explosive, a total adrenalin rush, keeps me fit, uses both mind and body and is completely competitive.

"I train four evenings a week at specific fencing training, and do additional core conditioning on the other evenings.

"I also compete most weekends either in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or mainland UK.

"The Commonwealth Games are my short term aim while in the future 2016 the Olympic games in Rio are my target."

Athletes, from all recognised sports, are chosen every month by the Mary Peters Trust to receive the Rainbow Communications grant.

Stuart Carson from Rainbow, Northern Ireland's largest independent business telecoms company, said: "Victoria is now a qualified Level 1 coach and has been interviewed for a leader's role in Camp America.

"There is no doubt she will use her skills and flair for the sport to help and inspire others in the same way that Katie Arup and Johnny Davis helped and inspired her."

To find about how you can apply for the award, visit www.marypeterstrust.org.

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