Sports Editor | Frankie Christou
NAME: Elliott Grover
SUBJECT OF STUDY: MSC Geopolitics and Security
YEAR OF STUDY: 4
While many of you will be putting shifts in the library in a couple of weeks, one Royal Holloway student will be jetting off to Australia’s Commonwealth Fencing Championship amid the stress of end of term deadlines.
The Founder sat with Elliot Grover, a MSC Geopolitics and Security student from Bromley, South East London about his fencing journey and other plans.
What inspired you to start Fencing?
What 10-year-old doesn’t want to hold a sword? Also, if I’m brutally honest I wasn’t particularly great at football.
Tell us about your journey in the world of Fencing?
I started at school when I was about ten and begun competing regionally and nationally at Kent championships/South East events. Slowly I ended up going through to better clubs one step at a time, increasing my training and starting an S&C programme when I was 16. At 18 I took a Gap Year and spent 2 months in Hungary training. Representing Kent and Team England at the Student 5 nations in 2014 and Senior 5 Nations in 2015 I qualified for my first Senior World Cup in Paris in 2016, my opening group included a European champion and the future Olympic champion so it was a trial by fire. Now I’m back at Holloway working on an Masters Part-time whilst training, currently ranked in the top 5 in the UK and have every intention of doing a full international season this year travelling to competitions ranging from Qatar to Buenos Aires.
What is your best memory of competing for Royal Holloway’s fencing team?
Winning my first national title at BUCs individual championships in 2016.
How did it feel to be called up to compete at this year’s Common Wealth Games?
Although it caused my bank balance to have a great deal of fear, absolutely amazing. My goal was always to qualify and it felt good to have achieved what I set out to do.
What are you doing to prepare for the games?
I’m training every week with the S&C coach at RHUL (Shout out to Tom Forster) as well as training every day at my club. Just taking a final week break after a long opening run of competitions before the final month preparation going into Australia.
What are your goals ahead of traveling to Australia?
A good start to the domestic season, but largely just to have a successful pre-season before my first world cup in the new year. Just aiming to up the intensity a little bit more. Oh and also start a Master’s degree I guess.
In addition to any physical achievements, what has fencing as a sport given to you?
I am lucky enough to get to travel the world doing something I love. Sadly, it’s mainly sports halls I’m visiting but can’t be helped. The teammates are amazing too, both my GB and my Bear ones.
Finally, what are your plans after the Common Wealth games?
In terms of fencing an entire international season starting in Germany. I just want to see where I end up quite frankly. Looking forward to smashing the SU for my birthday and achieving Instagram fame and getting that 2.1. I hope.