Fencing Club Coming Back to NDA

Fencing Club Coming Back to NDA

Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame Academy’s Fencing Club is making a comeback with the help of English teacher Steven Stary and junior Ellie Bernauer. 

Before the club disbanded at the end of 2019 due to declining members, they had been a club since 2001.

“If a person wants to learn fencing, we’ll teach them. However, it is a sport and it does take practice,” said Stary. 

The Fencing Club plans to meet once a week after school, but some of the details are still being figured out. 

Stary said, “It is a fun sport that anyone can do if they put their mind to it. Unlike other sports, the entire purpose of fencing is to hit the other person with a sword.”

No supplies are required to join as all of the gear is provided. Only comfortable clothes and appropriate shoes are needed. 

“You don’t have to be athletic to start, though you will get in shape if you keep it up,” said Stary. “If you can walk, you can fence. And if you can’t walk, there is such a thing as wheelchair fencing.”

All knowledge needed to fence will be taught to you through the club, including how to stand, walk, hit and not get hit. 

“We do all the same things that Olympic fencers do,” said Stary. “They just do it a lot faster.”

The Fencing Club will host an in-house tournament once everyone has learned how to properly fence.

“A basic bout is the first person to score five points on their opponent. All you have to do is hit them more than they hit you,” said the adviser. “You’ll fence a five-point bout against everyone in your pool, and then the results of those bouts determine seeding for a direct-elimination round of 15-point bouts. The last fencer standing wins.”

The club has a goal to end each practice with bouts or matches. 

Stary encourages anyone who wants to join to join. “Don’t let things stop you from trying. Don’t say you want to do this and not show up,” he said.

Notre Dame Academy is one of three high schools in Wisconsin with a fencing program.

Stary said, “You’re not going to be a Jedi on the first day, so be patient.”