Role Models - Tom Hoffmann

During June, sportscotland are celebrating Role Models and the impact that they can have on their sport and wider community. At Scottish Fencing, we understand that there are many people throughout our community that act as role models to their peers. Today, we bring you Tom's story...

 

 

 

As a type 1 diabetic, I have to take my diet very seriously. I cannot just turn up and fence, but need to plan what I am eating before, during and after the event. Getting this right will massively affect my performance. It does not matter where you are from, or the size of your club, you CAN achieve success in fencing! I am very grateful to the clubs in the Highlands and Moray - Culloden, Dingwall, Elgin - and the volunteers there for giving back to the fencing community and providing opportunities for others to do fencing.

 

How Did You Start Fencing?

 

I started fencing 15 years ago, when I was 8 years olf. I used to love watching sword fighting in movies! I grew up in Strathpeffer, a tiny and remote village in the North of Scotland. I was delighted to learn that there was a fencing club in Dingwall, which was only ten minutes away!

 

What has kept you fencing?

 

There are many reasons, not least my competitive nature! I love representing my country and have been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places that I might not have done if I was not fencing at a high level. I also love how fencing is such a close community, and everyone seems to know everyone. Lots of people that I have met through fencing are now my close friends outside the sport. 

 

I want to stay fit and healthy throughout my life and taking part in fencing will allow me to do this. It is also great fun! 

 

Career Highlight (so far!)

 

My career highlight so far has been 2 Commonwealth bronze medals. Hopefully, I can add to these in the years to come!

 

What are some of the challenges you have faced in your fencing journey?

 

The biggest challenge for me is trying to compete at a high level when I don't have the same resources as others. I was in the GB Junior team for two seasons, and many of my teammates trained down south 5-6 times per week, often with each other. I was lucky to be training 1-2 times at week at the club in Dingwall. Living in such a remote area made it difficult to maintain my place on the team. However, i worked hard to get over this by training on my own, visiting other clubs such as Culloden and Elgin, and doing extra gym sessions. It's difficult to do this when you don't have the same facilities as others, but I worked hard to try and not allow it to become a barrier to my success. 

 

Who is your role model? Why?

 

Geza Imre is one of my role models. He won silver at the 2016 Olympics, in epee, when he was 41 years old! This was great to see, and shows you can still compete at the very top level as you get older. Closer to home, another role model is Keith Cook. He had a difficult upbringing and has shown what you can achieve through working harder than everyone else. We can all aspire to be like hime and give back to the fencing community.

 

Scottish Fencing is proud of Tom Hoffmann and his achievements to date. For more information on the clubs mentioned in this article, or if you are interested in joining a fencing club, please contact Blair Cremin, Pathways Manager at blair.cremin@scottish-fencing.com