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Superintendent Listening Post

Fencing Club a hit


The new Fencing Club is gearing up at Mayo High School, organized by Lily Letourneaut and Mr. Johnsrud. If you are new to it, fencing is an art or sport that uses a small sword called a foil to defend or attack an opponent.

The Mayo Fencing Club teaches how to fence, competes in tournaments, and grows the sport of fencing all year long. The team belongs to the United States Fencing Association and competes in sanctioned tournaments to develop individual skills and gauge which areas each member can improve in. 

Photo courtesy of Post Bulletin

Lily Letourneaut, coach of the Fencing Club explained that everyone is welcome to join: “You can be a complete beginner. Most people that have joined the club haven’t known anything about fencing, but since then they’ve gotten gear, …learned how to fence, and now they’re competing.” Don’t be reluctant to join; if you like the idea behind this sport, even if you’ve never tried it, you should come out. Remember, students of all skill levels can sign up for the club at any time of the year by going through the Club Hub, contacting [email protected], or simply talking to someone involved in the Fencing Club. 

Mayo’s Fencing Club is made possible through local community involvement and support. Practices are held twice weekly, Mondays and Thursdays, at John Adams Middle School in collaboration with the Rochester Youth Fencers. The gear used by students is provided by local fencing clubs that pitch in to help the Mayo team. This allows the team to practice with full electric equipment, which offers better protection and accurate scoring, so the team practices with the accuracy of a competitive tournament. If it weren’t for everyone outside the club showing their support and involvement, this club would likely not last long, as the equipment and spaces can get pricey, so the efforts of those outside organizations and individuals is truly appreciated. 

As far as membership in the Fencing Club goes, most are male, for now. On a team of ten people, Lily Letourneaut is the only girl, but she hopes “we get to see some girls next year.” In fact, globally, it is a very diverse sport. According to Irina Chirashnya, president of the Academy Of Fencing Masters, “a man who has a height and weight advantage on a female opponent doesn’t have an advantage that he might have in swimming or boxing. Fencing as a sport puts men and women on equal footing” (The Power of Women in Fencing). Letourneaut believes that increasing the diversity of the group can only make the club thrive.

Letourneaut would like those who are considering the club to know that “even though fencing can seem like something that’s difficult to start, maybe you think it’s too late and that you should’ve started when you were younger, [or] it’s too hard for you… You should still give it a shot. It’s the whole year round. You don’t have to commit to always coming to the club, but if you want to drop by and learn a little bit, we’re always open.”

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