CLAYHIDON’S Chris Hay certainly won’t be lacking for fitness when it comes to defending his British Universities and Colleges Sport crown this weekend. For the Great Britain fencer has added swimming and triathlon training to an already hectic workload.

The 21-year-old, who went to Court Fields Community School and learnt to fence with Wellington Swords, will head to Sheffield for the multi-sport BUCS Gatorade Nationals.

The event brings 6,000 athletes from 130 universities together to crown the nation’s rising stars.

And since scooping up the gold medal 12 months ago, the épée fencer has joined the University of Bath’s swimming and triathlon clubs to ensure he reaches the peak of his powers.

According to Hay, juggling his biology studies with the intense training is working out just fine – and he’s confident he can joust his way to the top of the podium once more.

He said: “I’m trying to work on my fitness because fencing is a very skilful sport and it plays a massive part, and I thought it was something I needed to improve.

“Luckily the university is very accommodating and we’ve got three fencing clubs close to us as students.

“I’m currently doing three or four swimming and triathlon sessions each in addition to training six times a week in fencing – it’s definitely improving my stamina as a fencer.

“The ultimate aim is to become the BUCS champion again and everyone’s in it to win it, I want to do it for the second year in a row.”

Hay has always been ahead of the curve, first called up to the Great Britain Under-17 squad as a 13-year-old before appearing in the Under-20s at 16.

There is no rush to star on the senior stage according to the youngster, but he insists that will not stop him mounting a charge up the national rankings.

n Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals. BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration - visit: