Port Elizabeth fencing star Isabella Archibald has been selected to join the national team to compete in the National Cadet Commonwealth Games in July, at Newcastle in England.
Earlier this year, the 15-year-old became the first ever Eastern Cape fencer to achieve national colours when she competed in the Africa Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Grade 9 Collegiate High pupil said this would be her first Commonwealth Games competition and that she was looking for exposure more than anything else.
She is third on the South African fencing rankings in the U17 age-group.
“It would be nice to come back with a medal but my aim isn’t to get a gold medal, it’s to get exposure and know what to expect if I ever make it again,” Archibald said.
“I am feeling very nervous but I have been training very hard and I am very excited to be going to England.
“I had to do multiple competitions to try and get to where I am ranked.
“I went to Nigeria last month for the African Championship. It was eye-opening. I could see where I was going wrong and what I should work on.
“Ever since I have been back I have been working on my fencing and I have been trying to strengthen my weaknesses and improve from there,” she said.
The fencer will take part in the Arnold Fencing Classic in Johannesburg next month as part of her preparations for the Cadet Games.
“I have already started preparing for the Games. I have been training every day.
“I have been watching YouTube fencing videos and trying new technics.
“I have been doing a lot of footwork as well. I often use my brother for target practice during training,” she said smiling.
Archibald is a sports fanatic who also takes part in cross country, swimming and tennis.
To balance academics and sport, she says she dedicates an hour towards her school work every day.