To Fence or Not to Fence?

07/10/18

By Suzanne Reny Unigo Campus Rep at Vanderbilt Aside from D-1 varsity sports, students can get involved in a large variety of sport clubs right on campus. Vanderbilt students are known for being involved in many activities, but the flexibility of club activities gives students a chance to get involved in athletics and meet new people. Whatever a student’s level of expertise or interest may be, chances are the Student Recreation Center probably has it covered. Teams range from traditional sports such as soccer, volleyball and water polo, to more unique sports such as fencing. “I just thought fencing was so cool so I signed up one day and have not looked back since,” said junior member of the Vanderbilt University Fencing Club, Elizabeth Claydon. The Fencing Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and is comprised of 34 members. The aim of the group is to incorporate fencing into the Vanderbilt campus and teach it as a modern competitive sport to students of all skill levels. Fencing is a club sport that has newly taken root on many campuses nationwide. The club participates in three major tournaments throughout the year and travels to various locations. Fencing is probably one of the more unique and historically oriented sports offered as a club team activity. It is one of the club sports slowly growing and gaining more recognition every year. Fencing means something different to every student but they all share a common purpose and value in the team. The current president, senior Reece Tucker, got involved in fencing his freshman year after seeing his future teammates dressed up at the activities fair. Reece acknowledged that to most students it is more than just a club sport. “It is a chance for you to get out onto a platform and prove to yourself and others that you can stand alone by yourself.  All of your teammates are behind you, but in the end, you are responsible for what you do and no one else,” he said. There are three different weapons people use in fencing, the foil, epee, and saber which were used in the first Olympics sports trial and are still used today in the hands of Vandy students. The team has become far more than an alternative workout with cool attire, it is also a very social group that spends a lot of time together outside of practice and has become a family. As one senior and fencer, Jeremy Cochran commented, “I never would have thought I would have been into fencing but it has given me a new outlet to develop myself, as well as gain new experiences from the people I’ve met.”

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