Tasmanian fencing team on point in preparation for Nationals

NOT one, not two, but eight of Glenorchy’s Van Diemen Fencing Club’s best fencers will represent Tasmania on the national stage later this year.

The fencers, aged from 14 to 30, will return to the Australian Fencing Circuit National Championships for the first time in 17 years.

“It’s a huge milestone for the club,” Van Diemen Fencing Club president Avery Holderness-Roddam said.

“Fencing’s a minority sport so it takes a lot of work getting the word out there and providing valuable opportunities to the members.

“If it’s anything like when I was younger, the fencers will return both to share their experiences with everyone and impassioned to help continue to build-up the fencing community in Tasmania.”

The team consists of four cadets and four open fencers and will take on the best fencers from around Australia – the cadets in July and the open fencers in November.

Mr Holderness-Roddam, who is also the Tasmanian Fencing Association Inc. president, has been fencing for about 17 years.

“I turned up to the first class and I was hooked,” he said.

“I think in the beginning it was about the sport being so exciting, even though it is actually one of the safest sports you can find, and 12-year-old me thought that being allowed to play with swords in complete safety was a great thing.

“As I got older the range of skills and the challenge really appealed to me, not to mention the exercise that’s hidden by all of the adrenalin.”

Mr Holderness-Roddam said it was heart-warming to see everyone working together to achieve such a milestone for the club.

“I’ve competed at nationals alone since around 2004,” he said.

“There’s a warm fuzzy feeling and a very positive psychological boost to compete alongside your close fencing family.”

For more information, phone 0428 057 473, visit www.vdfencing.com, or email van.diemen.fencing.club@gmail.com.

Caption: Van Diemen Fencing Club cadets Caelan M, Alex Cantwell and Finlay Semmens will take-on the best fencers from around Australia this month.