Shetland Fencing Club was formed in 1989 by local PE teacher Yvonne Clark. It ran as an after-school activity in Scalloway before moving to the Clickimin Leisure Centre in Lerwick in 1990. Andy Alderman, originally from London and a fencer with international experience, then took up the running of the club. He developed it alongside his own coaching skills, working his way through British Academy of Fencing qualifications to reach the highest level (diploma) in all three weapons, becoming a professor of the Academy.
After heading the club for 23 years, Andy moved in January 2014 to take up a full-time post in Edinburgh, where he coaches fencing in schools throughout the city, as well as guiding competitive fencers at national and international levels.
The club's lead coach is now Phil Hibbert, who has fenced and coached under Andy's guidance for 20 years. Two further BAF-qualified coaches, Derek Titheradge and Kate Manson, complete the team.
Although distant from the main fencing centres on mainland Britain, thanks to good coaching and hard work – not to mention a lot of travelling – the club has produced many high-quality fencers. In addition to achieving excellent results in domestic competitions, some have represented Scotland and Great Britain, for example at the Commonwealth Fencing Federation Championships. Today’s club members have much to look up and aspire to.