by Meryl Hanmer
Varsity is the most eagerly anticipated event of the year for our university sports players, all of whom are training hard to prove themselves against our Cardiff rivals. Yet whilst everyone else awaits a battle with unknown rivals, Euan Deamer, Swansea’s fencing captain awaits competition from his own brother who is the lead foilist fencer for Cardiff University. Euan and Luke Deamer are brothers on opposite sides of the fight during this year’s Varsity competition.
From the ages of four and six, both brothers became infatuated with fencing after watching it whilst they were on holiday in France. Upon returning home, the eldest brother, Luke, joined a local fencing club where his talent for the sport was soon discovered. Two years later, when he too was old enough, Euan followed his brother’s footsteps into the sport.
Over the past sixteen years, Luke and Euan have dedicated their time, honed their skills and committed their efforts to the sport they both love. Luke was in the four man cadet GB team, winning the under 17 British nationals title and came 47th in the European cadet circuit. Euan has been as equally successful, being selected at age 15 for both the U17 and U20 GB fencing squads, with which he travelled around Europe to France, Poland and Slovakia for world cup competitions.
Their success as individual competitors is undeniably impressive but their success working as a team is just as admirable. Training at Crawley Sword club, they have competed together at country level and for three consecutive years they won the regional team competition for South East England.
As children, Luke and Euan were forbidden from fencing one another at club so to “avoid the arguments in the car on the way home”. Now as university students however, they enjoy frequent training sessions together during the holidays, allowing them the opportunity to help the other and learn from the other in equal measures. It was not until they made it onto the university competition circuit that they first competitively fenced each other. Yet despite the pressure of rivalry neither are in any doubt about the strength of their relationship, confidently stating “every time we finish fencing we’re back to being mates”.
Both with years of experience, competitive success and inside knowledge of how the other fences, it is sure to be a close match between the Deamer brothers. In a conservative manner, Cardiff’s captain Luke says “Euan is a stronger fencer, but because I am older and more experienced I used to beat him, but it has always been tight. Since we’ve been at university however, the gap between us has definitely narrowed. We’re both the strongest foilists in our team so let’s see what happens on the day!” However, it is Swansea’s captain Euan who appears more confident of victory, by saying “I know I have the fitness and technique to beat anyone, it’s all about being mentally together and not overthinking it”. Let’s hope that Euan’s confidence is what brings him to triumph over his brother and secure that all important win for Swansea!