DCU Fencers take home gold and bronze in Cork

DCU Fencing has recorded one of their best tournament victories in the last few years as they took home Gold and Bronze in the Schull Novice Cup last week in UCC.

Beginner Gabriel Berg, who won bronze at the Novice competition in Galway last March, impressed this time around by taking home Gold, whilst Kevin Ledwith took home bronze.

The Schull Novice is a competition for beginners in fencing who have less than two years’ experience, with DCU sending 14 members to Cork to compete on November 2 and 3.

Kevin Ledwith spoke to the College View saying: “I’m extremely surprised and happy with the result. I went into the placement matches seventh and third overall in the men’s épée. I’ve been training hard three times a week and thankfully the result paid off.”

Speaking to DCU Fencing captain, Brigita Armonaite said: “this is one of the best results DCU has had in a long time. It is especially great since we have hired a new fencing coach this year, James Bardon, who has done a fantastic job, and we expect many more impressive results in the coming months.”

Due to fencing being a minority sport in Ireland, many of the competitors who join the club in DCU are beginners, so much of the training is revolving around learning the basics of the game with a certain level of fitness done at the start of the year.

“We train three times a week with a lot of work on the basics. We try and master our footwork, stances, lunges, defence and counterattacks. Due to the fact DCU is one of the last universities to start back in the college year, we have to quickly get all beginners up to speed in preparation for the Schull Novice Cup,” said Armonaite.

For Irish fencing, all eyes will be on DCU next semester as the Intervarsity Fencing Championship, the biggest event of the year for university fencing will be held in the Glasnevin campus next March, while DCU are also hoping to continue to run their own competition, The Winter Blaze.

“I have been to the Intervarsity’s for past three years now, last year DCU came fifth in NUIG which I found was a good result. For Irish fencing it is one you just want to be a part of,” said Armonaite.

The Analytical Science student also added that, while DCU Fencing hope to run their Winter Blade competition this year, like last year they have no venue currently to host it but are expecting to bring the event to the National Pentathlon centre in Blanchardstown. For club organizer and former 1964 and 1968 fencing Olympian Michael Ryan, the event will happen and fall into place, it’s just currently at a working progress.

Conor Breslin

Image Credit: DCU Fencing