In 1971 Sarah, who went to Graveley JMI showed a precocious sporting talent by winning the Rural School Sports Egg and Spoon race for 8 year olds. A year later her mum, seeing an advert for fencing in the Stevenage Gazette, thought this might be better than Sarah beating her brother with sticks whenever they watched Zorro or the Prisoner of Zenda. Sarah didn't have plimsolls and went to her first session in slippers with blue bunnies! She was very surprised to find that there was no slicing of candles or jumping on tables brandishing sharp swords. Proper fencing shoes followed and by the time Sarah was at Stevenage Girl's School she was regularly winning county and regional age group championships; one year, holding the under 14, under 16 and under 18 Herts County titles. Stevenage Sports Council helped out with a grant and Xmas and Birthdays brought new kit with her parents supporting every step of the way.