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Profile: Bronwen Hyde

Person in fencing outfit concentrating

Bronwen Hyde (2021, Law)

Bronwen Hyde is in her second year studying law at Univ. She fences in national and international competitions as well as captaining Oxford University Fencing Club’s Women’s team.

Why did you decide to do Law at Univ?

How our morals influence the rules we make, and vice versa our rules and laws influence our morals, has always interested me. This is the main reason I wanted to study at Oxford: it offers the opportunity to study not just law but jurisprudence, the theory of law. In addition, while studying for my GCSEs, a teacher suggested I participate in a Youth Speaks competition.

When I spoke to the teacher in charge of organising the team, she informed me that I was “opinionated”. Thus, I took my passion for arguing and being “opinionated” and decided to channel those skills into applying for law at Oxford. The job prospects are not bad either.

Women's fencing team have a group huddleHow have you changed since starting at Univ?
With every term I complete, I feel I change slightly. The challenges and opportunities I am presented with mean I am continually growing as a person. More recently, I think I have become more self-assured – I increasingly know what I want and who I am – and I think there is no greater strength.

What do you do outside your studies? How do you balance fencing with academics?
As Women’s Captain of the Oxford Fencing team, it can sometimes be difficult to balance fencing with academics. However, fencing at OUFC is a way for me to relax, doing something I love after a long day of reading and tutorials. I have always had to balance my academics with sport, whether that’s revising on the way home from a late training session or waking up early to complete homework; if you have a passion for something, you find the time for it. The friends I have made through fencing in Oxford form a large part of my social life here. I have so much fun with them and it makes training and finding time for fencing all the easier. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to find an Oxford fencer in the corner of a sports hall doing their work while everyone else is fencing around them.

Fencing women's team with trophies Has anything surprised you about your course/Oxford/Univ?
I did not quite realise how much Oxford would come to feel like home. Even during vacation, I like to spend my time here. I have also met some incredible people not only at Oxford, but through opportunities the University offers. Quite honestly, I have found a new family here; friends I will have for life and I know will always be there for me, no matter the distance. The thought of having to leave Univ and Oxford fills me with dread, but at least it forces me to make the most of my time here.

What is your proudest achievement?
I have achieved a lot in my sporting career. Most recently, I won a silver medal (individual) and a gold medal (team) representing Oxford in Paris. That being said, my individual achievements by no means compare to the pride I feel when I compete with my team. Being the Women’s Captain (2022-23) of such a successful and supportive team has been one of the best experiences I have had while studying at Oxford. Watching my teammates excel in their chosen weapon while screaming and cheering from the side-line has been an utter privilege – a job I wish I could do again and again.

Group of women lifting their hands in the air post-huddleOne moment, in particular, stands out: when my epee team beat Cambridge at Varsity. We have always had close matches with Cambridge in epee, however, this year, in front of a crowd in Exam Schools, my team did what no Oxford Women’s fencing team has done in 18 years, we won the epee. As a result, my team won all four trophies that day, a title which has not been achieved since at least 2005, maybe even earlier than that.

Describe Univ in three words.
Stunning, welcoming and hard-working

Published: 2 May 2023

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