Gold standard for Calum at Vail Williams  

EN GARDE: Calum Maynard in action as an international épée fencer

A Commonwealth Games fencing gold medallist has been appointed by property consultancy Vail Williams as a building surveyor.

Calum Maynard has joined the Surrey regional team in the Woking office after six years at construction consultants Summers-Inman.

BUILDING SURVEYOR: Calum Maynard at Vail Williams’ Woking office

By day he deals with building dilapidations and energy performance certificates – by night he dons a mask, breeches and protective equipment and steps on to the strip to lunge, parry and doublé in bouts with top fencers.

The international épée fencer was part of the England team which took gold in the 2018 Canberra, Australia, Commonwealth Games, narrowly beating the host nation in the final, and achieving an individual ninth place.

Calum, a member of two leading fencing clubs in London, Haverstock in Chalk Farm and Brixton, is now hopeful of selection by England for this August’s Commonwealth Games taking place in Birmingham.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Woking, fences three or four nights a week, depending on work commitments.

He said: “Being part of the gold medal winning team was an unforgettable moment for me, but now I am committed to providing a gold standard service for Vail Williams.”

At Summers-Inman, Calum gained practical experience of building surveying from its London office, specialising in damp and mould surveys, EPC assessments, and stock condition surveys, including more than 2,000 Ministry of Defence-owned dwellings.

He completed planned preventative maintenance reports on more than 200 dwellings owned by an Oxford University college and has acted as an independent monitoring surveyor to lenders on multiple projects.

His key skills areas and responsibilities at Vail Williams include schedules of condition, schedules of dilapidations, condition surveys, contract administration, employers’ agent, development monitoring, planned preventative maintenance and energy performance certificates (EPC).

Calum, who has an honours degree in building surveying from UWE Bristol, is currently studying for his RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), said: “I was looking for a new challenge and I am both humbled and gratified to be appointed by a firm of Vail William’s stature.

Geoff Fallon, Vail Williams’ Surrey Regional Managing Partner, said: “In all my time in this industry I have never hired a Commonwealth Games gold medallist before, but it must be stressed we didn’t appoint Calum because of his sporting prowess.

ON THE STRIP: Calum Maynard, front left, in action with international colleagues

“He is here because he is a fine building surveyor, a good all-rounder with lots of experience, and we have high expectations that he will perform brilliantly across a range of specialisms for Vail Williams.”

Calum was first inspired to take up fencing as a youngster after watching the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day in which Pierce Brosnan battles it out with screen baddie Toby Stephens in a fictional gentlemen’s club.

He added: “I started off with a club, then someone suggested a local competition, then a regional one, then the next level up – and it didn’t seem too long before I was high enough in the rankings to be picked for England.

“To make the national squad was obviously a huge highlight, as well as competing in places like Qatar, Bulgaria and Canada, but the reality of the sport is that it is as much a recreational activity for me as a search for glory.”

One sporting occasion Calum will be going nowhere near as a competitor is the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

“There is no chance whatsoever of me becoming an Olympian. The time I would require to raise my skill level up that high would be time in which I wouldn’t be developing a career – and as much as I love my sport, I do quite like having my own house and a good job.

“We are not like Germany, Hungary of France where professional athletes in niche sports are there. We are an almost entirely amateur organisation so it you wanted to do that you would need to be self-funded.

“It wouldn’t happen for me and I’m not sure I would want it to. Retired athletes in niche sports tend to end up with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their backs. I’m sure we would all love funding, but it is what it is.

“Fencing does require a lot of kit, but you would be hard pressed to find a club that can’t supply you with the equipment if you wanted to start. You get all ages, all backgrounds in fencing, people from all walks of life. I would highly recommend it for anyone seeking an exciting new sport.”

Vail Williams’ full-service property advice includes commercial agency, investment and development advice, building consultancy, property valuation, planning, lease advisory, property asset management, business rates and occupier consultancy.