August 16, 2022 10:52

By Chris Mitchell

The Harrow Club, which provides youth clubs and other support for disadvantaged children and young people in London, has announced that they will be providing fencing lessons from September, with the help of the Leus Family Foundation, a charitable organisation founded by businessman Dmitry Leus.

Fencing has been added to the activities offered by the Harrow Club and the lessons will be available for children aged 8-18. The Leus Family Foundation has supported the initiative by donating the necessary equipment and helping to find and fund a professional coach. The lessons will begin on Friday 9th September, from 4-9pm.

Credit: Leus Family

This gives the children of all ages a chance to try the classes, as the youth club for the Juniors is from 3.30-6pm, and the older children (13 onwards) is from 6-9pm. The coach will run four sessions during this time, with the children learning the basic skills, positions, footwork and target practice. If enough children are confirmed and would like to continue, the Harrow Club, with the support of the Leus Family Foundation, will look to setting the lessons across two days a week for different age groups. After three weeks of basic training they will progress to lessons with the equipment.

Michael Defoe, CEO of The Harrow Club, spoke about what the impact of the new fencing lessons will be: “The Harrow Club is thrilled to further diversify the opportunities we provide for children to develop and learn new skills. We are hoping many young people will sign up to learn fencing. It’s a great sport in itself, as well as being ideal for building the wider life skills of confidence, mental focus and resilience.”

Dmitry Leus, the founder of the Leus Foundation and a former European Fencing Champion, explained the significance of this new initiative: “The impact that fencing can have on a child is immense. They not only learn a great sport. They also learn strategic thinking. They find a very constructive way to channel any aggression and they enter a new community full of new role models and opportunity.

Credit: Leus Family

“All children should be able to access this sport as it offers so much and we are so pleased we can build access to this sport for the most disadvantaged children in West London.”

The Harrow Club has been working with the local community since 1883. Their aim is to address needs amongst young people related to disadvantage and poverty. The Club’s activities range from sports clubs to drama and dance. Their network of clubs includes Harrow, Chelsea, Old Oak, Sands End, White City and Lancaster Road and welcomes children and young people between the ages of 8 and 21 years old, of whom 80 percent are eligible for free school meals, 90 percent are from ethnic minority backgrounds and 20 percent have been diagnosed with learning difficulties or disability issues.

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