The coaching team at Cardiff Academy of Fencing is made up of both full-time and part-time coaches. Availability of the coaching team varies from coach-to-coach but all coaches are available for one-to-one lessons as well a group and club sessions.
Mr Peter Russell - Head Coach
Peter is a FIE Diploma'd fencing master (foil) having studied in Germany under Andre Magro, and holds Sabre and Epée coaching qualifications with both the British Academy and British Fencing Association. He has been coaching professionally for over 9 years and his students include numerous members of various Welsh and British Teams. Peter is also a director of Welsh Fencing and coordinates the Coach Education program for Wales, running seminars and courses across the country - for more information about the WF click here. Peter is a qualified foil, epee and sabre referee, a BF Team Manager and a black belt in Taekwondo.
Miss Fran Whalley - Lead Sabre Coach
Fran is an FIE diploma'd sabre master and studied in Hungary under Ioan Pop. She started fencing at university and quickly gravitated towards sabre. Since then she has represented Wales at both student and senior level in Sabre at the 5 Nation's and the Commonwealth Games. Fran is our lead Sabre Coach, and is the Pathway Coordinator for our enhanced training programme for 12-16year olds. Fran is also a qualified sabre referee and BF Team Manager. Alongside her coaching Fran is also a regular competitor in Women's Sabre.
Mr Neale Thomas - Lead Epee Coach
As a fencer Neale competed to World Cup level with GB between 1998 and 2002 and was Commonwealth Bronze medallist with Welsh Men's Epee team in 1998 & 2002. He started coaching in 2003 and in 2005 joined the GB cadet & junior Epee coaching team, travelling with GB squads to numerous international events as coach and official. In 2010/11 was invited to join the FIE coach education program, training under Olympic coach Octavian Zidaru in Zagreb and Budapest, gaining his FIE Maitre D’Armes. Between 2013-2016 Neale was appointed GB National Junior Coach. Has coached fencers to all levels from County through to National Champions. His fencers have represented GB at World Cup, Junior European and World Championships. As a coach attended more than 20 major championships (World, European and Commonwealth) between 2007 & 2016 and acted as Welsh Team Manager / Epee coach to the Commonwealth Junior Teams in Penang (2009) & Jersey (2012), and Welsh Senior Commonwealth Teams in Melbourne (2010) and Largs (2014).