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Press release

  • 13 January 2006

Sussex student wins national fencing competition

Final-year psychology student Laurence Halsted has proved himself to be the best fencer in academia.

The 21-year-old swordsman competed against more than 100 other students in the British Universities Sports Association's (BUSA) annual fencing competition in Nottingham last month to take the winning medal.

Laurence, who is ranked among the top ten fencers in the country and is hoping to compete in the next Olympics, is the first University of Sussex student to become a BUSA champion.

He says: "I came sixth in the competition last year, which was a real disappointment, so it was nice to win it in my final year and more so since it puts me in the position of being the University's first individual BUSA champion."

Laurence received a sports bursary from Sussex to help fund his training and will be focussing full time on his sport when he graduates in the summer. "I obviously want to work hard for the last year of my degree, but after that I'll be with the British squad trying to qualify for Beijing and especially the London Olympics."

The son of two Olympian fencers, last year he represented Great Britain at the World University Summer Games in Turkey, as well as competing in Denmark, Cuba and even China itself.

Luke Terrill, the University's sports development officer, administers the bursary scheme and is Laurence's sporting mentor. He says the bursaries offered to sporting students are paying dividends: "We have a good package here at Sussex, competing with some of the top sporting universities, and this means we are attracting better athletes, like Laurence. Winning the BUSA championship was an exceptional achievement and we look forward to seeing if he makes it to Beijing in 2008."

Notes for editors

University of Sussex press office contacts: Jacqui Bealing and Maggie Clune, tel: 01273 678888, email:

For more information on the British Universities Sports Association, see:

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