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British Fencing Charity and Rose Bruford College join together for S.W.A.T

17th October 2017

British Fencing Charity and Rose Bruford College join together for S.W.A.T - Special Weapons And Theatre project

British Fencing charity and Rose Bruford College have come together to create a bespoke project for young people to experience an exciting and eclectic mix of art, sport and gaming to improve their health and wellbeing.

The project aims to reach over 300 young people (150 in the first year!) from the most deprived  London boroughs, including Southwark & Lambeth which have the highest areas of knife crime in the UK. We will help to combat knife crime by using the physicality of theatre performance and artistry of fencing and swordplay.

Rose Bruford College students will facilitate workshops across London to reach young people from black and minority ethnic groups. Utilising existing links with Youth Offending Teams, Pupil Referral Units and schools. The project will see 10 students from Rose Bruford College who will be intensively trained with new skills enabling them to lead on interactive Sabre:Lite workshops with young people.

Sabre:Lite is a new and innovative modified version of Olympic Sabre Fencing that’s accessible to everyone. With simplified rules and a focus on gameplay and discipline, it encourages the development of skills and techniques whilst importantly having fun!

During the workshops, student facilitators will capture the youth voice through ‘storytelling’, encouraging young people to develop their understanding of ‘discipline in combat’ and knife crime through game play, physical activity and drama. Storytelling creates a safe environment for young people to express themselves, enabling them to confidently share their perceptions of the world (including knife crime) through their eyes. Everyone involved will have the opportunity to talk about real world problems impacting on their lives in a way where their thoughts and opinions are valid – giving them a sense of ownership and courage.

In addition to raising awareness of the knife crime agenda, our project will have a life changing impact for all involved. Everyone will gain life-skills and improved access into education and employment by introducing young people in deprived areas into creative industries and to the sport of Fencing. Our project will enhance:

1) Discipline, strategic thinking and an active lifestyle - through practicing Sabre:Lite;

2) Confidence - through improved communication and presentation practice;

3) The ability to be heard, giving young people a voice – through performing arts; and,

4) Access to new skills - learned in the workshops.

A strong ethos and environment in which students have fun and learn will be paramount, sharing high quality art activities whilst improving health and wellbeing through swordplay. This has the potential to increase awareness of Higher Education pathways and sporting opportunities with emphasis on creative and sporting industries - helping to address the elitist perceptions of ‘drama school’ and ‘fencing’.

The new partnership between Rose Bruford College (Charity) and British Fencing Charity created for this project has potential to remove barriers into higher education, improve employability, and for the first time generate a following and interest in an exciting and bespoke ‘Fencing, Gaming and Theatre Collaboration.

The project can only be started with a little financial help, so we have applied for an Aviva Community fund. We need your votes to progress through to the next round of the funding process. Once registered you can vote up to ten times (you can even vote for the same project ten times!!) Voting is open from 9am on 24th October 2017 until midday on 21st November 2017 so be sure to click the link during this time and vote for us!!

We’re looking for the Aviva Community Fund to help kick start the project. Our vision is to use the collaboration of Fencing, Gaming and Theatre to improve health and wellbeing in black and minority ethnic groups through a youth driven Theatre Company; promoting physical activity and storytelling using the concept of theatre for social change. To achieve this post 2018, we hope to work with a new partner in the animation & gaming sector plus the Metropolitan police.

Please vote for us so young people can access life changing experiences!

Click here for further information on the Aviva Community Fund.

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