Skip to main content


26th Tachwedd 2018

Former Olympic fencer Clare Halsted has gained a new accolade after being crowned a National Lottery Legend as part of a new campaign celebrating the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

Her Finchley Foil club is featuring in the National Lottery Legend series which has been specially developed in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

Clare, who competed for Team GB at the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games, set up the club to pass on her skills to a new generation. They teach mini fence to children aged five to eight and cater for other age groups up to 18.

They used National Lottery funding to purchase new kit to run additional beginners’ courses and electronic scoring equipment and make an extraordinary contribution to her local north London community.

Clare’s story was selected by young Haringey film maker Christopher Chanudom, who is a graduate of the BFI’s educational programmes which are supported by National Lottery funding. During the project Christopher was mentored by documentary director Adeyemi Michael.

Christopher’s film entitled ‘Behind the Mask’ was premiered at a special screening at the BFI Southbank attended by BAFTA award winning director Lucy Cohen, Dunkirk actor Charley Palmer Rothwell, leading film critic Rhianna Dhillon and a host of leading figures from the film industry.

Christopher said: “I have known Clare for more than 10 years and I am a former student of hers at the Finchley Foil club. It has an incredible track record; producing three Olympians since it was established in 1992.

“Clare is a former Olympian herself, and uses her enthusiasm and love of the sport to open up fencing to a new audience and generation.”

Jonathan Tuchner, director of the National Lottery Promotions Unit, added: “National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes across the UK. Our National Lottery legends come in all shapes and forms. They are the ordinary people in our society who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. The National Lottery helps amazing people like Clare Halsted inspire a new generation through her Finchley Foil club. National Lottery players can be very proud to have helped support such an amazing project.”

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “For thousands of young people, the idea of a career in film has been an impossible dream but now in its seventh year, the BFI Film Academy is changing that. The National Lottery Legends film Clare Halsted – Behind the Mask by filmmaker Christopher Chanudom from north London, is a terrific example of how the Academy is helping young people develop skills and careers in film and the related industries whilst shining a light on some of the inspirational people who do amazing things in their own communities with National Lottery funding.

“Some 5,000 young people aged 16-19 have gone through the doors of the BFI Film Academy thanks to the support of the National Lottery, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and the many individuals from the industry who enthusiastically share their experience and offer guidance to students.”

The project appears in the National Lottery Legend online campaign which celebrates the life changing difference made by people and project across the UK.

The Finchley Foil story and that of more National Lottery Legends can be viewed here:


Nodiadau i olygyddion

National Lottery players raise £30m each week for good causes. For more information on good causes in your area please visit

About the BFI Film Academy

The BFI Film Academy aims to help train and inspire the next generation of UK filmmakers, supporting talented and committed young people aged 16-19 to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film a reality.

The BFI Film Academy offers training for every film industry role, from writing and directing through to production, sound design, editing and camera, and provides learning around film history and cinematic storytelling to inspire an appreciation of film culture in the round.

The BFI Film Academy contributes to a core aim of the BFI’s 2022 strategy which aims to provide everyone with the opportunity to build a lifelong relationship with film; to create a clear progression paths for talented young people and to ensure that film is celebrated and explored in formal education.

The BFI Film Academy is supported by the Department for Education in England, the National Lottery, Northern Ireland and Screen Scotland.

About the BFI

At the BFI we support, nurture and promote the art of film, television and the moving image. A charity, funded by Government and earned income, and a distributor of National Lottery funds, we are at the heart of the UK’s fast growing screen industries, protecting the past and shaping their future across the UK. We work in partnership with cultural organisations, government and industry to make this happen. We bring our world-class cultural programmes and unrivalled national collections to audiences everywhere, and promote learning about our art-form and its heritage. We support the future success of film in the UK by nurturing new voices and fresh ideas, enriching independent British film culture, challenging the UK's screen industries to innovate and defining Britain and its storytellers in the 21st century.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

Pic caption:

Clare Halsted, founder of Finchley Foil fencing club, (2rd left) with film maker Christopher Chanudom (2nd right) at premiere event hosted by the National Lottery and the BFI to celebrate their inclusion in the National Lottery Legend campaign. Also pictured are BAFTA award winning director Lucy Cohen and Dunkirk actor Charley Palmer Rothwell.

For more information please contact:

Ruairi O’Kane on 07788612804 or email Ruairi.o’