A North East college’s own three musketeers have qualified for a national competition in fencing.

Liam Winstanley, 17, and 15-year-old Freddy Potts and Alex Ip, all from Gateshead, will represent the region in the British Youth Championships in Sheffield in May after qualifying at a regional contest.

All the boys took up fencing as an extra-curricular activity at Emmanuel College, in Gateshead, with classes taken by local instructor Chris Morton.

Alex explained: “I was always into fight films when I was younger. I started fencing in year seven and really enjoyed it, and it’s gone from there.”

Alex and Liam have competed at national level in the past but Freddy is making his debut.

“I’m looking forward to it but don’t know where I am in terms of national standing. I’ll take it as it comes but hopefully do the college proud,” he said.

At the weekend the boys fought a Royal Navy fencing team at the HMS Caliope base on the Tyne.