Teenage fencer aiming for 2020 Olympics


Ambitious teenage fencer Isaac Rusholme-Cobb is striving to represent New Zealand at the 2020 Olympics. Thanks to a recent $10,000 AMP Scholarship, his path just got a little clearer.

The 17-year-old has demonstrated extreme dedication to the sport; after breaking his pelvis, he trained in a wheelchair during rehab.He then went on to win the U20 regional and open titles; an impressive feat which also saw him become the youngest New Zealander to do so.

Fencing is a sport which few people know much about – it has a vocabulary all of its own; there’s the familiar lunge and parry, but also epee, piste, prêt and riposte. Steeped in tradition, fencing is very much a minority sport in New Zealand, yet some of our fencers have enjoyed success on the world stage, and Isaac is determine to head the field.

The $10,000 AMP Scholarship represents a turn for the better, following a challenging few years which saw him miss out on competing at the Junior Commonwealth Championships (2015), after breaking his pelvis in an unfortunate accident.

“My dream is to represent New Zealand at the Olympics in 2020 in fencing,” he says. “I want to not only be the youngest fencer New Zealand has ever sent to the Olympics, but also to be the first to medal at an Olympic Games and grow the sport I’m passionate about within New Zealand.”

AMP has awarded more than $200,000 through its AMP Scholarships to 28 Kiwis who have the courage to pursue their diverse dreams and turn them into reality.

With his extreme dedication to the sport of fencing together with an AMP scholarship, Isaac’s dream of making it to the Olympics is looking closer to reality.

AMP chief customer officer, Jeff Ruscoe, says: “This year we received more than 3000 AMP Scholarship applications from courageous Kiwis from all parts of New Zealand. Their desire to succeed and to help others goes to the heart of AMP and the basis upon which we were founded more than 162 years ago – to help others protect and grow their futures.”

The 2016 AMP Scholarship applications were reviewed by judges including Dame Rosanne Meo; co-founder of 42 Below, Justine Ross; Dr Jane Magnusson, and columnist and entrepreneur, Mike Hutcheson.

Fancy a go at fencing?

Have a go at fencing with Waikato Swords Club. The club meets every Monday during school term at Hamilton Boys’ High School (7-9pm) and on Saturdays at AgResearch (Farmers) Hall, on Ruakura Campus from 5-7pm. www.sportsground.co.nz/waikatoswords  


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