A DENTON school had a special visitor as it returned from half-term – a world championship silver medal.For teacher Amanda Baxendale was part of the Great Britain team at the World Veterans’ Fencing championship.
The assistant head at Greswell Primary showed off what she won to pupils as they came back in, after some watched her in action.
Amanda flew to Cairo in Egypt to face the world’s best – 27 years after competing in the Olympic Games in Barcelona.
After finishing 11th in the individual foil competition, it was on to the team event and she did her country proud.
For Great Britain, who were seeded fifth, reached the final, only losing to Russia.
“Cairo was an amazing experience!” beamed 52-year-old Amanda, who already has her sights set on going one better.
“I thoroughly enjoyed both the individual and the team event.
“I really want to get into the final if I qualify for the World Veterans’ Fencing Championships again.”After having to pull out of previous tournaments because of a lack of funding, Amanda was able to go because of the response to a fundraising page she set up online – notably one former pupil’s donation.
She added: “I genuinely didn’t expect the response. I thought I’d have to pay for everything myself, I didn’t think that other people would contribute in the way they have.
“It’s lovely – friends and family and even former pupils have donated.
“One girl I taught was bullied when she was here and I made a real effort with her and looked after her.
“She’s now in her 20s and she contributed. How nice is that?”Upon going back to work at the Percy Road school, Amanda showed off her medal to her pupils.
And she is thankful to everyone who helped her strike silver.
She said: “I would really love to thank all the people who contributed to my just giving page, I bought my Great Britain tracksuit and paid for my hotel with the funds.
“I would also like to thank all the children and parents at Greswell who followed my journey and gave me so much encouragement.”