#SheCanSheWill - Active Girls Day 2018 - Chloe's Story...

Chloe Dickson, at 22 years old, has been fencing competitively for half her life. Her journey began by accident, when at the age of 10 she found a bag of her Dad’s old fencing gear under a bed. After being shown the basics at home, it was not long before she had persuaded her parents to take her along to the local fencing club.


It only took one season of fencing competitively before she began to win medals in Scottish competitions. By 2010 she was U16 British Sabre Champion and in 2012 she was UK School Games Girls Foil Champion. She has represented Scotland at both Junior and Senior Commonwealth level and has numerous senior titles to her name, including currently being British Senior Womens Foil Champion. Being part of the fencing team at Edinburgh University led to her being awarded Full Blues, and she was recently announced as Kirkaldy and Central Fife Sports Council Athlete of the Decade!


Training to be an elite athlete while at school is very difficult, and Chloe had to make some tough decisions. She was a talented swimmer but made the choice to concentrate on fencing at high school. Every weekend throughout school, Chloe was traveling the length and breadth of the country, and regularly missed out on social events with friends. Although this worried her parents, it soon became clear that Chloe was becoming part of the fencing community, reaping the social benefits of participating in sport and making more, new friends.


Upon leaving school, Chloe had to make another tough decision. When her friends were leaving home to go to university, she was still participating in a hectic Junior AND Senior fencing circuit. It was clear she would not be able to continue doing that and be a dedicated university student, so she enrolled in a part-time college course that would eventually allow her to apply to university as a mature student.

Chloe has gone through the trials and tribulations that most high-level athletes have, including dealing with defeat, loss of form and injury. After having a knee injury misdiagnosed, she carried on through the pain for almost two years and was only weeks away from walking away from the sport before the issue was resolved during a sportscotland training programme. The mental strength that she developed during this difficult time in her late teens will stand her in good stead for the rest of her fencing career.


Before she could drive, Chloe spent hours in the car, being driven by parents, grandparents and family friends from Glenrothes to Dunfermline for strength and conditioning sessions (twice a week), to Edinburgh Fencing Club training (three times a week) and daily early morning gym sessions… before spending Friday to Sunday in competitions in the UK and abroad!


She is now going into her second year of university, and balances all her training and competition commitments with being a student. However, as a self-funded athlete, she needs to raise money to help pay for going to competitions and upkeeping her gear, so somehow manages to fit in shifts in the local pub AND use her Level 3 Coaching in Foil qualification to coach and teach lessons to make ends meet!


Chloe is an example of what a person can achieve if they are willing to make sacrifices. Fencing has given her lifelong friendships, opportunities and experiences she will never forget. She is an exceptional role model to any young girl, and we are proud to call her one of our own.