Archived Gossip: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007


30/12/2008: Former Auckland foilist Sandy Patterson is moving to Palmerston North. Sandy, or Cooky, to his friends, has been based at Burnham Military Camp for some years and been fencing at various Christchurch Clubs and the Fencing Institute as well as in Europe and Asia. A chef in the New Zealand Army, Cooky has been promoted to Sergeant and posted to Linton Military Camp to run the Officers' Mess. A picture of Sandy was published on 3/12/2007 (see archives). He is the one of three tired Kiwi fencers photographed on the Madrid metro on the way home after training at the Royal Spanish Fencing Organisation's national training centre - he is first on the left in the last pix.


27/12/2008: A selection of photos for your entertainment! As usual, I'll leave the captioning for a few days to allow some of you to send your own - who, what, where and when????

Beijing Olympics >>>Beijing


Commonwealth Fencing Champs, Newcastle, Australia >>>cfc02

Women's epee event in Valladolid, Spain >>>hitathand

Oceanic Championships, Christchurch >>>Oceaniaone


22/12/2008: Have a great Christmas and happy New Year!
Auguri per un felice Natale e un magnifico 2009.
Mis deseos de feliz Navidad y prospero 2009.
But, most of all, enjoy your fencing in 2009.

Vik Manuge.


12/12/2008: What are they doing??? whataretheydoing


7/12/2008: Here are Fenz's latest equpment standards as recently posted on their website:


Fencers using size 3 blades or smaller (e.g. U13)
Jacket: CEN1(350N)
Plastron: CEN1 (350N)
Breeches: Long Trousers (openings zipped/taped closed)
Mask: CEN1 (350N bib)

ALL other Fencers
Jacket: CEN1(350N)
Plastron: CEN2 (800N)
Breeches: CEN1 (350N)
Mask: CEN1 (350N bib)

FeNZ hosted Tournament with international component* (e.g. Oceanics)
Jacket: CEN2 (800N)
Plastron: CEN2 (800N)
Breeches: CEN2 (800N)
Mask: CEN2 (1600N bib)
*FIE foil and epee blades/S2000 sabre blades also required – ie in line with FIE requirements.

These standards are intended for New Zealand ONLY.

It will be expected that where a fencer can use equipment of a higher standard – eg 800N or breeches rather than long trackpants, then they will do so.

Tournaments overseas (eg Australia) will have their own equipment requirements dependent on the Fencing Federation and the type of tournament.


5/12/2008: Kiwi Fencers are winners and here's proof; Mary, Rangi and Oliver with their haul of medals at the Malayasian Open 1996.

Did you know we are sending Kiwi fencers to the Junior Olympics in Sydney in January and to the Commonwealth Junior Championships in Penang in February? S


29/11/2008: Talking of publicity and feedback here is a pix of Press photographer Dean at work at Nationals. The event generated coverage on radio, TV, newspapers and the net. Sadly Fenz has no active media pusher and publicity is left, in this case, to the region - Mid-South.

Come back Peter Potter!dean at work


28/11/2008. Thank you to our Cousins across the Ditch for the nice things they have been saying about this web site. Mostly there is little or no feedback other than someone moaning about something posted so the dose of positive enjoyment is heartening! As I say above: ''If you have something to say about anything to do with fencing then this is the place to say it. Like Letters to the Editor, submissions should be concise and pertinent and may be subject to editing.'' For, lets face it, anything about fencing, good bad or indifferent is good publicity for the sport. Witness how those pesky Dunedinites attracted so much attention to cricket - bet their audience/spectator count is way up! Now, does anyone want to know the story about the kidnapping of the President of the FIE? No, this is not a joke, it actually happened.



27/11/2008: You read it here first - Hail to the Chief! Our latest leader of Fenz is Susan Grant-Taylor (Wellington). She was elected at last weekend's management meeting of Fenz in ChCh as Intrerim President until the Annual General Meeting in March 2009. Laura Harvey (Auckland) remains as Secretary, Steve Clarke (ChCh) as Treasurer and Gareth Foley (Dunedin) as Selector. More To Come.




Foil lame, right-handed, in good condition with name of former owner on back – would make a great training lame – small mans, $80.

Left-handed sabre glove with lame cuff, medium to small, brand new, $45.

Right-handed pistol grip electric foil, non-FIE blade, $80.

Three weapon mask in good condition, non-FIE, medium, $75.

Foil lame, Allstar right-handed, in good condition (passed weapons check at Nationals), mens size 40, $80.

Sabre lame with name of previous owner on back. Good condition, small mans, right-handed, $80.

Phone 03 366 6396.


24/11/2008: He danced on a table, well a wine barrel, for her. They travelled the world together, well the UK and Europe, but that's a big part of it. They returned to ChCh to nest. Now he has fronted up with THE RING - KJ and Nursey check it out. Rangi de Abaffy and Marguerite Juanaco-Neilson will marry in November 2009. Good wishes to them and boy will there be a party and a half!!! thering




22/11/2008: Here's a good story, but it does not reflect well on NZ Post. This letter sent by an Auckland fencer with an entry form for the recent Nationals had to travel all the way to Australia and back before being delivered to its rightful address. Seems you have to add the words New Zealand as part of the address even though it had the correct local code on it! Be warned - the term snail mail is no exaggeration even for air mail - it was franked 20/10/08 and arrived 4/11/08! Aussieletter




16/11/2008: Sadly, nobody picked up on our two fencers standing for Parliament. Hamish McCracken and Chris Auchinvole are the two who stood for Parliament. Chris was elected National MP for West Coast Tasman and Hamish stood for Labour in Northcote, but missed out on Election Day. Chris is a bit coy about his sword swing career and does not mention it at all, but Hamish does.


15/11/2008: Some dramatic action from the men's sabre at Nationals - Fallen Bodies!oops2



14/11/2008: "I don't look too good in that photo of the UCFC's AGM can you post another?" No, but I have one of the same person taken at the Duel at Dawn which marks the end of the fencing year at the question is dear reader who is that person? And, does he or she look any better? duel08



13/11/2008: More pix from Nationals was the request so here's another. Clock watchers all - Martin and Brendan check who got the point.Brendon



12/11/2008: Brett hams it up for those attending the University of Canterbury Fencing Club's recent Annual General Meeting.ucfcagm08



12/11/2008: Which two former fencers stood for Parliament at Saturday's General Election?? One was elected the other was not, but still polled heavily. First correct answer gets a free coffee and bottle of bubbly at Fred's Cafe.





Always had an urge to experience the fun of fencing? Need the life-saving qualities of regular exercise?

Then this introduction to fencing is just the thing!


All you need are flat-heeled sports shoes, track pants and a t-shirt. At The Fencing Institute we provide the rest, mask, glove, jacket and sabre plus instruction in the ancient art and modern sport of Fencing.

In ten weekly sessions you will advance from beginner to skilled competitor


The Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, off Whiteleigh Avenue, Addington. It is near the Westpac Centre

And Rugby Park, see map below - FI marks the spot – heaps of off-street parking.


Beginners, Boys and girls, Eight to 12-years start Tuesdays 4pm to 5pm and those older Wednesdays at 6.30pm til 7.30pm. Cost $95 a term (10 weeks) includes all equipment (mask, jacket, glove and sabre), group instruction and tea or coffee afterwards.

Class limited to 12 participants so please book your place now by phoning Vic at 366 6396 (leave a message)

or e-mail:>

Get fit, lose weight and enjoy yourself. Or, just turn up for a look and join later. All welcome.

Location map below:


(The photo, above, from the recent Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Belfast, shows an agile left-handed sabreur avoiding an attack from the right.)


6/11/2008: More pix from Nationals....





30/10/2008: The finalists and some spectators from Nationals. More to come...keep visiting!finalists





28/10/2008: NATIONALS.................................................afinal


Their swords sheathed, their masks doffed and their Kevlar clothing destined for the washing machine, Kiwi fencers made their ways home to Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and places in-between with the knowledge that the 65 th National Fencing Championships puts Christchurch at the top of the sport

Of the 24 individual medals (gold, silver and two bronze in each of the specialist weapons foil, epee and sabre) that were up for grabs three gold, three silver and six bronze remain in the southern stronghold – and that does not include the four medals from the Women’s Sabre which morally should go to MidSouth for being the only region to enter woman sabreurs – add that four and then you get a whopping 16 staying in Christchurch! And just to ram home a point, so to speak, Christchurch fencers also won the men’s sabre, epee and foil team events and the women’s foil team event! Leaving Auckland and Dunedin to squabble over the leavings and Wellington an embarrassing no show.

Having said that, we all know that the home fencers always have an advantage and results over the years show that to be true so Cantabrians look out. Make the most of it, or next year it could be very different and those pesky North Islanders could exact revenge in Auckland, where next year’s Nationals will be held, and the quiet rise of Dunedin’s women foilists should also be kept in mind.

Now to the drama. Trying not to be too one-eyed, most of the excitement, to me, seemed to be in the sabre and epee. And while the foil final between Hoskins and Clarke had all the intensity and commitment of two young foilists out to prove a point, the woman’s final between McCance and McDonald had a certain gravitas to it, and the epee final, between the two university students, Auckland Uni’s Liu and one pissed-off Canterbury Uni woman sabreur, Taylor, out to prove herself, had a certain focus to it, it was the movement and action filled sabre semi between Chan and Mercer and the bout of the Oldies Brill and Rance in the epee semi that had the spectators undivided attention.

The sabre was all movement and action with attacks and parries and ripostes up and down the piste at a furious rate and it only ended when Mercer fell over while attempting a swift retreat. His subsequent withdrawal, injured, gave Chan his chance at a second title in succession and he went on to beat Tabac in the final.

The two more mature epeeists (don’t even begin to think of what their combined ages add up to!) could not have done better if they had choreographed the fight beforehand, trading point for point all the way to 14 each, then a double hit and back to 14-all, then another double and still 14 each (the audience holds its collective breath), another exchange and Brill gets the hit and wins the bout and the spectators start breathing again! Hate to say it, but the final with Linke was an anticlimax. Sorry Christian.

As for the teams’ events, the results speak for themselves, and the hard work by MidSouth fencers cementing their dominance shown in the individual events.

Results; All Christchurch unless stated,

Men’s Foil, 1 Michael Hoskins (Auckland); 2 Hamish Clarke, 3 rd= Andreas Sesun and Chris Bell.

Womens’ Foil, 1 Sally McCance; 2 Fiona McDonald (Dunedin), 3 rd= Anna Garcia (Dunedin) and Nancy Liu (Auckland).

Men’s Sabre, 1 Alex Chan, 2 James Tabac and 3 rd= William Cowper and Michael Mercer (Wellington).

Men’s Epee, 1 Christian Linke (Auckland), 2 Martin Brill, 3 rd= Mark Rance and Andreas Sesun.

Women’s Epee, 1 Katherine Taylor, Nancy Liu (Auckland), 3 rd= Rebecca Cribben (Auckland) and Carla Campbell.

Teams, all Christchurch, Mens’s Sabre, (Alex Chan, William Cowper and Eoin Queen). Men’s Epee (Mark Rance, Chris Nokes and Sam Ramsay). Men’s Foil, (Hamish Clarke, Andreas Sesun, Chris Bell and Ryan Mallon). Women’s Foil, (Katherine Taylor, Sally McCance and Rachel Rowlands).




Christchurch fencers won 12 of the 24 individual medals available at the 65 th National Open Fencing Championships over the weekend with Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin sharing the remainder.

The haul cements the Mainland’s major city as top sword in the nation and is a direct result of those running Fencing MidSouth, the regional fencing body, and the Fencing Institute, the country’s first permanent fencing venue available 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Two results stand out. Former Olympian Martin Brill just losing out the Auckland’s Christian Linke in the men’s epee event and Christchurch Boys High School pupil Alex Chan defending the men’s sabre title he won last year in Wellington.

Results; All Christchurch unless stated, Men’s Foil, 1 Michael Hoskins (Auckland); 2 Hamish Clarke, 3 rd= Andreas Sesun and Chris Bell. Womens’ Foil, 1 Sally McCance; 2 Fiona McDonald (Dunedin), 3 rd= Anna Garcia (Dunedin) and Nancy Liu (Auckland). Men’s Sabre, 1 Alex Chan, 2 James Tabac and 3 rd= William Cowper and Michael Mercer (Wellington). Men’s Epee, 1 Christian Linke (Auckland), 2 Martin Brill, 3 rd= Mark Rance and Andreas Sesun. Women’s Epee, 1 Katherine Taylor, Nancy Liu (Auckland), 3 rd= Rebecca Cribben (Auckland) and Carla Campbell.

The championships at the Table Tennis Association’s stadium on Blenheim Road, finishes tomorrow with the teams events.



24/10/2008: NATIONALS!

The economy might be in recession but the tiny sport of fencing is not. The 65th National Fencing Championships in Christchurch has attrracted its largest number of entries since 2004 with organisers struggling to cope with late comers.

Among the 80-plus competitiors are fencers from Britain, Russia and the tiny Arabian country of Oman.

Double Olympian Martin Brill is among those contesting the mens epee event however Brill will have to contend with many younger epeeists out to gain a good result to make certain of a place in the teams for Australian Olympic Youth Festival in Sydney early next year and the Junior Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Penang, Malaysia a month later.

Strangely there are no entries from across the Tasman and the venue at the Canterbury Table Tennis Association's hall in Blenhiem Road will seem empty without the drawl of our Australian friends.

The champs start on Saturday morning with the foil events, then the sabre with epee on Sunday and finishing with the teams events on Monday.




The Duel at Dawn
A fracas, kerfuffle, or even a rumpus will be held:

10am Saturday the 1st of November at Victoria Square by the Ferrier (dandelion) fountain.
or 9:30 at the ballroom to carpool.
Followed by breakfast at the Pronto Nachos Cafe
Come in costume!

Yep... It's that time of year again. Get out your best slapping glove, find a costume, and come along.
If you need a ride there, or can provide a ride there from the ballroom please email

Photos from previous years attached....

P.S. If you neglect to come in costume you will be made fun of mercilessly >=]




19/10/2008: HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLGA: Fencing matriarch Olga Jeykll, left, and Fencing MidSouth President, Keith Mann enjoy a happy moment during celebrations of Olga's 90th birthday at her home in Christchurch. Born on the 8/10/1918 Olga has been involved in fencing for more than 70 years. In 1966 she received a silver plaque marking 21 years of consecutive attendance at the National Fencing Championships. One of the founders of the United Fencing Club, now based at Avonside Girls High School, she has taught thousands of fencers including her nephew Steve Clarke. She also received the Queens Medal for her services to fencing.




17/10/2008: National Fencing Championships' timetable:

2008 National Fencing Championships - October 25, 26 & 27, 2008 Provisional Timetable of Events

ALL WEAPONS: Friday Weapons Check 5.30 p.m. [local fencers are encouraged to have their weapons checked at this time]

FOIL: Saturday Weapons Check 8.30 a.m.

Mens Foil Roll Call 9.30 a.m. Fencing begins 10.00 a.m Womens Foil Roll Call 12.30 a.m. Fencing begins 1.00 p.m.

SABRE: Roll Call 1.30 p.m. Fencing begins 2.00 p.m All events, Semi-finals and Finals start at 4.30 p.m.

EPEE: Sunday Weapons Check 10.30 a.m. Mens & Womens Epee Roll Call 11.30 a.m. Fencing begins 12.00 noon Semi-finals and Finals start at 4.00 p.m.

TEAMS: Monday All Team Events Roll Call 10.00 a.m. Fencing begins 10.30 a.m.


16/10/2008: A visiting overseas fencer has remarked how good the Fencing Institute in Christchurch is compared to similer facilities overseas. Here is an example, the Royal Spanish National Fencing Centre in Madrid. A converted movie theatre, it has three floors of pistes, offices for the national officials, coaches and a physiotherapist, changing rooms and showers, a physical training room, equipment room, fix it room, lounge, seating for spectators and it is only seconds away from a local park. In this view coaches are at work on the bottom floor with floors of offices hehind them. The centre is home to the junior teams with the seniors based at the National Sports Training Centre in another part of Madrid. Spanishcentre



14/10/2008: More from MidSouths. Chris and Ghaisan and Keith and Andreas - differing styles!Oman



14/10/2008: World Veteran Fencing Championships....British fencers scoop four golds. To see full results go to:



8/10/2008: More MidSouth madnesss......epeeaction



7/10/2008: Action from the MidSouth Open. Chris Nokes and Andreas Sesun in full flight in the final of the epee, and visiting Russian epeeist Anna gives the photographer a telling off much to the amusement of bystander Dmitri. More pix soon, so keep looking. lunging copy


6/10/2008: Results from the weekend's MidSouth Open at the Fencing Institute in Christchurch - all Christchurch unless indicated. FOIL (10 entries) 1 Hamish Clarke, 2 Andreas Sesun, 3= Nick Hostin (Nelson) and Chris Bell. EPEE (16 entries) 1 Sesun, 2 Chris Nokes, 3= Mark Rance and Sam Ramsay. SABRE (7 entries) 1 Alex Chan, 2 Eoin Queen, 3= Ramsay and Ramsay, Hannah and Sam.




22/9/2008: Twenty fencers turned out for the annual Eccleston One Hit Epee competition on Saturday. Promoted and run by the University of Canterbury Fencing Club, the event honours former National epee champion Dave Eccleston and was the very first tournament for six newbies from Uni and Riccarton High School - lets hope they go on to further honours - and yes, there is a future Ekky or two among them!

EkkyoneCompetitors and spectators watch the action.

With the action fast and furious some of the more established epeeists were given a bad fright or two. Among the funniest moments must have been the bout between the oldest and youngest competitors, Mark and Hannah R. Not much taller than the epee she weilded 12-year-old Hannah was over the moon when she won the bout. Then we had the sight of the nation's two tallest epeeists, Brett and Tom facing off. To suggest the contest looked like two giraffes having a stoush would not be too far off the mark. Tom's sabre-style enguarde stance also confused many of the more classically trained fighters.

ekkytwoWith only one hit in the balance most of a fencer's time was spent in connecting and disconnecting.

Results: 1 Andreas, 2 Carla, 3 Ana, 4 KJ, 5 Mark (once again proving a good old un will beat an uppity youngun), 6= Dimitry and Tom, 7 Brett, 8 Vasilijie, 9 Bryn, 10 UK Will, 11 Hannah R, 12= Eoin and Lugu, 13= Chris and Rachel V, 14 Hannah M, 15 Nick, 16 Sven and 17 Erin.

EkkythreeBrett and Tom face off. For you non fencers, the pair are checking that the spring-loaded tip of their epees lifts the 750gm weight.



15/9/2008: With the Eccleston One Hit Epee comp this Saturday - see details below - younger fencers have been asking who was David Eccleston. Well, he is still alive and living in retirement in Nelson. A former high school teacher Ekky was born in the United Kingdom in 1938 where he started fencing. He came to New Zealand in 1960 and proceeded to terrorise Kiwi fencers with his go forward attitude and, in epee, a particularly strong counter-sixte bind. He fenced all three weapons and won the national epee championship and has represented New Zealand at Commowealth and World champs. He managed several successful NZ teams overseas and has done his stint as national selector. Here he is.......ekkyAs someone has just told me: You forgot to add in Ekky's habit of standing super close to you and that distinctive laugh of his.


12/9/2008: Pssst. You read it here first. Christchurch epeeists Rangi de Abaffy and Marguerite Juanaco-Neilson are checking out venues today for their wedding next year. The pair will tie the knot, so to speak, on November 5th next year - I know, Guy Fawkes Night! So expect plenty of sparks during the Great Event.

10/9/2008: Eat your hearts out foilists and epeeists - Sabreurs have it! Great to see former National Sabre Champion and top corporate lawyer Andrew Harmos, of Auckland, as the new Chairman of the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

10/9/2008: Yesika Jimenez, the solitary fencer representing Panama, carried the flag into the arena at the opening of the Beijing Olympics. Here she posees in the Fencing Hall with her supporters, FIE medical representitive Dr Ezekiel Rodriquez, left, and her coach Julio Gonzalez. Yesika was place 16th going down to the more experienced Imke Duplitzer, Germany, in the DE. beijing



8/9/2008: Why am I not surprised??? Some folks do read what is posted and here is a good example - a ChCh mechanic read about Brighton bike shop owner John Pickering's crafty idea on souping up cycles. So, when he lost his license he went and bought a pushbike and clip-on motor and now putters to and from work with no waiting for public transport! phutput



5/9/2008: this has just been posted on the Fenz site.......

Fencing New Zealand has designed an approved junior program for the 2008/2009 competitive season, leading up to the Commonwealth Junior Champs in February 2009.

Junior Program 2008/2009 season:
National Junior Championships, Dunedin, September 2008
Oceanic Junior Championships, Brisbane, October 2008
AYOF, Sydney, January 2009 (epee only)
Commonwealth Junior Championships, Penang, February 2009
Between 3 and 5 training camps to be held at appropriate times between October 2008 and February 2009

Selection for Tournaments:
Priority selection for the tournaments listed above will go to those who have committed to the whole program. In the event that we do not get full teams signed up to the program, it will be in the selector’s power to approve extra entries to individual tournaments on a case by case basis. If more than the maximum number of fencers sign up for any tournament, the selector shall decide on the relative entry priorities of athletes.

Click more to find out:
Requirements for fencers to nominate for the program:
Requirements for team officials to nominate for the program:



August 2008:

27/8/2008: Cummon you older fencing folks get your entries in for this...

Oceania Veterans 2008


Wednesday the 22 nd and Thursday the 23 rd October 2008.


The Fencing Institute. Jack Hinton Drive, off Whiteleigh Avenue, Addington


Time table:


Roll call: 8.30am

Men’s Foil and Women’s Epee: 9am

Sabre roll call: 4pm

Men’s and Women’s Sabre: 4.30pm


Roll call: 9am

Men’s Epee and Women’s foil: 9.30am

Entry Fee:

$60 (nz) for the first weapon

$30 (nz) for each additional weapon

Please make cheques out to Fencing Mid-South

Fee payable on the day by request


By e-mail to:

Or Fax to NZL 03 3383398

Or Post to 37 McBeath ave, Hoon Hay, Christchurch, New Zealand

Entry form


Contact phone number

Contact e-mail address

Date of Birth


Country of origin

Weapons entered Foil



Entry fee included $________________



23/8/2008: A seat. A car. A man. A seat. How did they happen??Seat



19/08/2008: This appeared on the Fenz website have been warned!

Expressions of interest in selection for the Junior Commonwealth Championships to be held in Penang, Malaysia, February 16-21 2009 are being called for.

Please contact the National Selector if you wish to nominate yourself for selection.

Fencing New Zealand
PO Box 5561
Lambton Quay
Wellington 6145

We require:

1) contact details: address/phone/email
2) firm committment to travel if selected
3) preferred weapon/weapons
4) brief disclosure of recent results, training/coach
5) intended training between now and Feb 2009

There is an expectation of attendance at NZ U20s.


17/08/2008: One hit epee comp - all welcome. Enter now....................cumon get your entry ineccleston

16/09/2008: The last seven weeks have seen rain, rain and more rain in Christchurch. In fact it has been so wet a new lake has surfaced - Lake Hagley - on the cricket pitches at Hagley Park. Not good for our summer sport, but appreciated by the ducks.wet


8/8/2008: The tiny Central American nation of Panama has a fencer at the Olympics so why not New Zealand??

Epeeist Yesika Jimenez will represent her country at the Beijing Olympics starting August 13 th. She is the first Panamanian fencer to represent her country at an Olympics. She will take to the piste on August 13.

Here she poses with a former Panamanian epeeist Ezekiel Rodriguez, left, and her coach Julio Gonzalez. Dr Rodriguez, now based in Madrid, is also a member of the FIE’s medical delegation to the Beijing Olympics and spent some years studying the Chinese language to make the most of his visit. Panama



7/8/2008: Entry Form For Nationals!




2008 National Fencing Championships - October 25, 26 & 27, 2008





Name                           ____________________________________________________


Address                      ____________________________




Telephone                  ____________________________


Email                           ____________________________


Fencing Club             ____________________________


Region or National Association Affiliated to     ___________________________



I wish to enter the following events (please tick event) and enclose the entry fee indicated: $30 for the first weapon and $20 for each additional weapon



Women's foil      (Sat)



Women's epee    (Sun)



Women's sabre   (Sat)



Men's foil           (Sat)



Men's epee         (Sun)



Men's sabre        (Sat)








In entering this Championship I agree to fence at my own risk and abide by the  rules and regulations of the FIE, Fencing New Zealand and the organising committee.


                                                Signed:  __________________________________________


Parent or guardian's signature required if entrant under 16 years




Please send  completed form with entry fee to                Fencing Mid-South

                                                                                                Carville Stewart

                                                                                                Box 42

                                                                                                Sefton 7445



7/8/2008: Another site for fencing stories and pictures from the Olympics: See also link posted on 13/7.2008.


5/8/2008: Wrote this about 18-months ago and it got followed up in a couple of the local rags. With the price of petrol now sky-high some might just want one! He can strap them on to your own bicycle! Phut, phut.

''Psst! Wanna take a ride for two on a tandem and cruise the flat thoroughfares of the Garden City, but don’t want to pedal too hard? Then New Brighton cycle shop owner John Pickering has just the machine for you – a tandem powered by one or, two tiny two-stoke motors – and pedals!

It all started when John, son of former Christchurch Mayor Neville Pickering, heard about a group of moped riders who each year cruise the highways from Cashmere to Tai Tapu. Being a handy sort of bloke John quickly bought a couple of old cycle frames from the Super Shed, welded them together, popped on a tiny motor and puttered off to join a couple of hundred other moped owners at Tai Tapu, with wife Mary on the back seat. “It was pretty hard work.” she remembers. “Especially over the hills.”

The tandem moped was the only one at the meeting and now the pair are hard at work on a mark II model complete with suspension and stylish Easy Rider front forks for this year’s event plus a comfortable banana seat for Mary. Tandemone

However the story does not end there. Some how the father of a lad who had lost his car license heard about the conversion and, sick of having to cart his son about (they lived in deepest suburbia), had John install one of the tiny motors in his son’s mountain bike. Now the son zips round the city without dad having to get the car out. ''

3/08/2008: Doping scandal sinks Italian Fencer's chance for an Olympic medal:

MILAN (Reuters) - World number one foil fencer Andrea Baldini has been excluded from the Italian team for the Beijing Olympics after failing a doping test, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Friday. Read more...... or at:


(Gossip and photographs prior to this are archived. Click on the link below to view.)


July 2008:

27/07/2008: Further pix from the Invitation Epee, but first Oleg Puzanov, former Russian epee coach who trained many Cubans in our ancient art and modern sport and who is now doing the same with the Italians. This picture taken in the coaches office at a Milan fencing club.olegtwo

Now we have Ted Clarke being interviewed plus stand in performances from Fifi and Adrian, Cilla and George. The poster in red and white promoting Fencing 84, on the wall behind these folks, was designed by Fifi all those years ago. finally, you could call them an elderly brains trust, but you and I know them by different names - the one second from the left won the epee event! While the other is in action below.

24/07/2008: More action from the Invitational epee this time by Ryan Mallon. Andreas Sesun in full flight against Steve Martin and Cathy Begley.....flecheaction

24/07/2008: Malaysia have advised that the 2009 Commonwealth Junior Fencing Championships will be held in Penang (at the Penang International Sports Centre - "PISA") from 16 to 21 February. That's just a short hop up the road from us so get training - you might get selected! More news here:


Hurrah, well done Martin for correcting the Fenz website so quickly - another victory for Kiwi sabreurs - celebrations start at the Wedensday sabre sessions at the Fencing Institute. Overall results from the Aussie U15 and U17s shows that the epeeists and sabreurs are bringing home the medals.


Some pix from the Aussie U15 and U17s to show what a colourful sight the general fencing and the finals are......Yes, there is a Kiwi in there somewhere!Aussiecomp

And here is how they present the finals...sorry Denise for cutting you off.... aussiefinals


20/07/2008: I came accross an interesting fact on the Fenz web site last night while trolling the net for Kiwi fencing results.

In the results round-up from the recent Australian U15 and U17 Championships in Sydney by Martin Brill there is no mention of the bronze place won the the New Zealand sabre team of Sam Ramsay, William Cowper and Alex Chan. This is what is posted:

No New Zealand Team

Sorry Martin, but you are wrong. Here is a pix of the trio, William, fourth from left, Chan and Ramsay, receiving their whatever:sabreteam

and here is the result posted on the Official aussie site:

Australian Fencing Federation Inc
Australian Championships 2008
Cadet Men's Sabre Teams
A C Centre, Lidcombe

Overall ranking

 Ranking   Name   State/ 

Document Engarde - 9/07/2008 4:12:49 PM

Now the question you have to ask yourselves dear readers, is: Did we win a third place or not?

Answers, as usual, typed double-spaced on one sheet of A4 paper or e-mailed to the address below plus a copy to Fenz.



19/07/2008: The week's fencing results:

The 2008 National Secondary School Championships were held this week in Auckland.

Men's Epee: Alex Chan (Christchurch Boys High School)
Men's Foil: Christopher Lear (Auckland Grammar School)
Men's Sabre: Alex Chan (Christchurch Boys High School)
Women's Epee: Jazmin Hopper (Wentworth College)
Women's Foil: Michelle Wang (Epsom Girls Grammar School)
Women's Sabre: Sasha Green (Epsom Girls Grammar School)

While the 2008 Invitation Epee was held in Christchurch at the Fencing Institute today:epeefinalists
The winner was Chris Nokes with young Sam Ramsay second and Brendan Lindsay and Andreas Sesun third equal - an all-Canterbury final - with half the competitors, such as Graham Payne and Steve Martin, from out of town. Well done the 28 competitors and organiser Brendan Lindsay.

Gaylene Ongley, of Auckland, and Ted Clarke, Christchurch, have the dubious honour of being the oldest spectators, I did not dare ask the competitors for their ages, but I think it ranged from 16-year-old Sam Ramsay to 52-year-old former Olympian Martin Brill - 36 years - anyone know what Chris Nokes' age is?? (See, I have corrected it Chris!) He told me tonight he is 53, but mentioned Mr Payne might be a tad older. Sorry Martin, you have been deposed as the oldest, any idea how old Kyle is???


Yesterday's post on broken blades touched many people from little old New Zealand to Europe. The offers of broken blades came flowing in (please get in touch with Colin direct) and reminded me of another person who uses broken blades - Gordon, the welder. He uses them for making knives and swords some of which are pretty spectacular and I am trying to get him to display them at the NZ Nationals here in Chch in October.

Here he is at work piecing together a vandalised bronze statue that once stood in the Edmonds Park. Remember Edmonds? The baking powder people and responsible for that bit of deep Kiwi culture and cooking, the Edmonds Cook Book. If you get your broken blades to me I will pass them on.....welder


14/07/2008: Do you have trouble disposing of broken blades? You do? Then help is at hand and you can do someone a favour too! Read on ........

''Hi Vik,

I'm a manufacturing and teaching goldsmith and silversmith, and over
the years have found discarded/broken fencing foils to be an excellent
material to make punches for forming precious metals.

I'm wanting to run a workshop on tool making for students soon and am
looking for some more broken foils for students to convert.
My supplier from 15 years back in Sydney can no longer help us.

Are you or any of your contacts able to help?..I didn't really know
where to start asking.
We don't need many.......10 or so would be sufficient.


Colin Forster.

Goldsmith Silversmith

03 442 7337
021 030 1353''

If you give him a call Colin can arrange pickup.


13/07/2008: View all the fencing stories around the Beijing Olympics at this site:



The University of Canterbury Fencing Club started its 80th birthday celebrations with an epee teams competition in the Ballroom of the University of Canterbury Students Association on Illam Road. Among the guests was Geof Low a member of the club from the 1960s. Other events will be held over the rest of the year culminating with the Eccleston One Hit Epee Championship!

Below is a line-up of some fencers from the early 1970s. Names on a single side of A4 paper or emailed to this address - first in with all four names wins a bottle of Chivas Regal, but be quick.


(So far we have Barry Garland, left, then Karen de Luen and Alan Garmosway, so far. Cummon folks who is second on the left?? The level in the bottle is dropping quickly.)



JUNE 2008:

24/6/2008: Fencing from the 1960s to the present day.

A Spanish friend in action at the World Champs. University of Canterbury Fencers - Town Site (now the Christchurch Arts Centre) late 1960s and The Ball Room at the University of Canterbury Student's Association, Illam, present day!



Psst! read this??? You should.....



The Concept

The Southern Invitation (Epee) Tournament is committed to providing a new and exciting tournament opportunity for Fencing in New Zealand.

The country’s top epeeists have been invited to the inaugural Southern Invitational (Epee) tournament. Competitors have been invited to compete not just for the Southern Invitational Trophy but for prize money for the top four place getters, as well as spot prizes drawn on the day, thanks to the generosity of our key sponsors, Mainland Fencing and Hummingbird Coffee.

To complement the quality fencing on display, there will be top-notch coffee available from the Hummingbird Coffee cart, on-site massages from qualified Massage Therapists as well as tasty cafe food.

Prize Details

1st Place The inaugural Southern Invitation Epee trophy plus $150 cash

2nd Place $100 Cash

3rd= Place $75 Cash

Highest Placed Male $150 Mainland Fencing voucher

Highest Placed Female $150 Mainland Fencing voucher

7 x Additional Spot prizes $100 Mainland Fencing voucher

Total Prize Pool of $1400

Event Details

The venue is The Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, and is on July 19th 2008.

This invitation only Epee tournament is limited to 28 competitors (mixed).

Confirmed entries include five former National Epee champions, who between them have won the title 15 times!

The tournament format is two rounds of pools followed by direct elimination.

The timetable is: Registration / Roll Call: 9:00am – 9:15am

1st Round (pools): 9:30am start

2nd Round (pools): 11:15am start

Direct Elimination Tableau: 1:00pm start

Semi-finals: 2:15pm start

Final: 3:00pm start


Alongside the top-class fencing, there are some unique features that make this competition stand out:

Two trained masseuses will be on-site throughout the day offering free massages to competitors. $10 massages will be available to spectators as time permits. Thank you to Fencing Mid-South for supporting this part of the event.

Hummingbird Coffee will also be available for purchase throughout the day, and additional venue facilities will include excellent café food for sale.

Elite Fitness will be providing equipment display and demonstrations.

So come along and enjoy the event, the excellent food, coffee and atmosphere in the heated venue.


This tournament would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors:



The general public are invited to come along and watch the tournament, as is wider fencing community. Local newspapers will be publishing articles about the tournament and some of it’s competitors in the week prior to the event. Plus roadside signage will also be used to draw people in.

Local clubs are requested to have at least one representative on-site all day to “meet and greet” members of the public and extend invitations to these people or their families to attend a local club. After all, new people are the lifeblood of the sport!

But most of all – the organisers invite you to come along and be part of the event!



Hi folks, any ideas on the identity of the people below??? E-mail your answers as usual.



9/6/2008: Info about NZ Nationals later this year....


2008 National Fencing Championships - October 25, 26 & 27, 2008

Preliminary Information

Fencing Mid-South is proud to be running the National Fencing Championships in Canterbury this year. This document gives some prelimanary information which should help you in planning your travel and accomodation for this event. Please note that teams events are scheduled. A maximum of two teams per province will be accepted. The Tournament Organiser is Carville Stewart, to whom all enquiries should be directed. [ 0274 865 679 PO Box 42, Sefton 7445]

Venue: Table Tennis Canterbury Stadium, 294 Blenheim Road, Christchurch

Provisional Timetable: Saturday Individual Foil & Individual Sabre

Sunday Individual Epee & Sabre Teams

Monday Foil Teams & Epee Teams

Entry Fees $30 for the first weapon and $20 for each additional

$60 for a team

Accommodation The following are adjacent to the venue:

Tui Lodge Motel 286 Blenheim Road

0800 444 133


Earnslaw Motel 288 Blenheim Road

0800 101 956


Classique Lodge Motel

290 Blenheim Road

0800 45 40 45


Amber Park 308 Blenheim Road

03 348 3327


Blenheim Road Motor Lodge

282 Blenheim Road

0800 804 499




The Mouse that keeps a Warm House.

Kiwi mice are cunning creatures and those living in Christchurch more cunning than most. That’s why the South Island is called the Mainland – bigger and smarter than its Northern mate - For those dropping in from overseas, ChCh is the largest city in the South Island and, some say, the best city in the land. Anyway back to the story. A luxury limo firm in the city has been plagued by the tiny criturs. It seems that with the freezing temperatures of Winter setting in (there was snow on the Port Hills this morning!) some of the wee beasties have sought warmth in the heating ducts of one of the company’s stretched luxury limousines. No doubt the limo customers don’t want to share with the small furry thingies, but the problem is how to get rid of them without dismantling the stretched limo too much!




To paraphrase President J F Kennedy, “Ask not what fencing can do for you, but what you can do for fencing.” Bring that idea up at many fencing clubs and all you will meet is a blank stare. Bring it up at a fencing meeting and it will generate a certain amount of hot air and heat. Bring it up anywhere else, in public or in business, if you dare, and incarceration in the lock-up at the nearest accommodation for mental patients is assured!

In fact, if you are not locked up the reaction from the general populace is likely to be something along the lines of; What! Do something for nothing? Do something for something you enjoy? Do something for other people? You get the idea. If volunteering and helping other was once a fundamental part of the Kiwi psyche, it has long vanished. Or has it?

Take fencing. Over the years that I have been involved in it I have met many remarkable people. Competitors and officials with great ideas, drive and commitment. Trouble is that they all seem to be going different ways. Now I don’t want to pontificate too long and waste the time you spend in reading, but Time has shown that all these people just seem to fritter away their ideas, drive and hard work – in confrontation and back-biting. Yet, they all want the same thing. To better fencing and make it a great sport and with enjoyment for all. Yes, they have stepped up and taken up the burden postulated by Kennedy “… what you can do for fencing.” Then promptly dropped it on their toes. Ouch!

In Christchurch we have seen that burden taken up and dropped five or six times in the last 50 years:

  • When the breakaway group from the Christchurch Swords Club founded the United Fencing Club.
  • Same with Waimairi Swords Club.
  • Ditto the Umbrella Organisation set up by former Italian World Epee Champion Gianfranco Mochi.
  • Then the Christchurch Fencing Academy.
  • And, the latest, The Fencing Institute and the revamped Fencing MidSouth.

Now, it could be argued that Fencing prospered and grew during these periods of change, approximately every eight to ten years, but if that is true where are the numbers? Where are the results? From my point of view, as a coach and fencer, there is NO difference between fencing on slippery floors in chilly school halls forty years ago and today – I did it on a recent Saturday and again a couple of nights later (Tuesday). And, it will go on, and on, and on, until we all get together to work together for the long-term development of our sport. If that means reining-in some egos, if it means giving up short-term gains for the long term, if it means the cessation of kiwi habit of back-biting, then so be it. Let us go forward together for divided we are crap and achieve no more than a bit of wet loo paper would with the aforementioned.. Let’s do something for fencing!

Any ideas? Martin Brill, the current Fenz President, is interested in hearing of them:

‘’To gather their contribution I will conduct a

second session next week. For those unable to attend this Friday 6th June,

and would like to contribute, they must please advise their preference for a

Wednesday or Thursday evening session next week, the 11th or 12th June, same

format, timing and venue - 6pm start, The Fencing Institute.’’

Let him know your intentions at:



(The letter below was written after the 2006 Nationals to one of my pupils not selected for the Commonwealth Fencing Champs though, had she been living and fencing in Australia, would have been selected for the Aussie team because of her rankings there.

With Martin Brill, the current Fenz President, holding talks on the future of fencing in some centres, it might be worth a re-read. I also found a photo of the cigarette company sponsored fencing coach – see below. Plus the University of Canterbury Fencing Club hosted a successful Uni Games at the Fencing Institute.)

Dear (Name removed),

Thanks for passing on the information on the World Uni Games. In more than 40 years involvement in fencing at all levels I am saddened by the recent pronouncements on selection for overseas tournaments by Fenz and now Uni Sport. As you know I started fencing in 1967 at Canterbury University and my recollections of Uni and local fencing are that it was positive and encouraging, in fact, the first Uni Games I competed at – they were called Winter Tourny in those days – was sponsored by a cigarette company! How times have moved on.

Fencing New Zealand and University Sport New Zealand’s apparent unrealistically high selection criteria for Commonwealths, FIE events and now the World Student Games is a result of fencers' inactivity over their governance. It is called Democracy. And, if the paying members do not like what is coming from these organizations then they can change it by voting. That said, it appears Fenz and USNZ is only following the lead of Sparc. Fencing is distinctly becoming a limited sport thanks to the apparent actions of certain official(s) or beauraucrats(s).

That those officials took on a position to uphold and carry out the objects of each of the organizations with regard to their members. In the case of Fenz: “a) To promote and foster the art of fencing throughout the Dominion of New Zealand. b) To conduct tournaments and fencing competitions within New Zealand. c) To promote and foster the participation by New Zealand fencers in competitions and meetings with fencers from other countries than New Zealand. …..” And, in

the case of USNZ: “To create opportunities and develop the environment for university students to participate in sport and physical recreation at all levels.” Based on the above the aims the actions of the officials running both bodies are open to debate. In my view, given the low numbers in our sport or market place (If you want to use jargon), the actions or inaction of those officials and beauruacrats would, in the commercial world appear so inept and divisive that they would be fired.

The low number of competitors at the 2006 National celebration of our ancient art and modern sport was appalling. It was the smallest New Zealand National Fencing Championships I can remember since becoming involved in the sport in 1967 and that was despite the organizers putting on probably the best presented Nationals ever.

In a country recognized throughout the world for its fascination with sport the miserly turnout must concern all officials, coaches and fencers. The latest Sparc diatribe about dysfunctional New Zealand Tennis could easily be transferred to fencing by just changing a few words – insert the word fencing instead of tennis – yet the results of some participants have been exemplary; a gold in the women’s teams epee at the recent Commonwealth Fencing Championships and medals (gold, silver and bronze in foil, epee and sabre) in age-group championships across the Tasman Sea in Australia. Great results, but one cannot but be reminded of the story of the band playing on while the great luxury liner, Titanic, sank. Is fencing about to do the same? Will it? And, more importantly, does anyone want to stop fencing vanishing or, should we just launch the lifeboats and take up another sport?

Before hitting the panic button perhaps a look should be taken at why fencing is, apparently, so dysfunctional. Is it the organizational structure? Perhaps it is because of the people who run the sport? Is it the fencers themselves? Maybe the greater number of sporting Kiwis think fencing is boring? Perhaps a combination of the aforementioned? Just what are the problems with fencing? There is only one that I can see and that is people. A lack of people taking on the efficient running of our sport, a lack of coaches to instruct newcomers to the sport and a lack of proper facilities in which to nurture the officials, coaches and fencers. Added to that is the poor communication among the fencing organizations and their members, and that is not just Fenz, but individual clubs too. For example, was the University of Canterbury Fencing Club ever approached by either organization about the setting of selection criteria for university students? A fiat or diktat posted on a website is not effective communication and could be considered an abrogation of an Official’s responsibility. Even the little known sport of Chess can provide a structure, coaching and permanent club rooms plus, in Christchurch, more children play chess than fence!

Yet all is not lost. Hard-working fencing officials beaver away from Dunedin to Auckland but in isolation and without a common direction. Solution, agree common goals to work towards. For example hold the Fenz AGM at Nationals, as it used to be. This would allow face-to-face meetings with both officials and members of the sport they purport to represent. Yes, it would allow those at the coal-face of the sport, so to speak, to talk to our national officials and vice versa. Why not hold meetings at both the North Island and South Island championships to allow further consultation and input from the masses? This way Fenz can bypass any inefficient grass-roots organization just as it would be a chance for grassroots organizers to stir up the national body. Mutual flagellation!

To prop up the numbers at New Zealand championships one could implement the rule that fencers selected for a New Zealand team or who wish to compete overseas were entries have to go through Fenz must compete at the appropriate national championships first. Failure to do so means exclusion from subsequent teams. If it were not for the inclusion of Blair Shatky and Lydia Wenborn the level of competition at nationals would have been very average. Both showed the striking benefit of having trained and fenced competitively overseas.

Another possible reason numbers were down could be the disenchantment of some senior fencers with the lack of direction and focus in Fenz – the shambles over selection for the recent Commonwealth Fencing Championships where many felt that full teams in all weapons should have been sent, just as other countries such as Australia and even tiny Jersey did. They believe it is the duty of Fenz and its Officer(s) to nurture and grow the sport, not throttle it by removing the least possible incentive for senior fencers to remain in the sport. In other words encourage participation and not limit it. If people want to spend large amounts of their own money to compete at overseas tournaments then encourage them. Goodness, Kiwi sports people are already tyrannized by the distance they are from international competition without being impeded by unrealistic rules and goals – look at the published goals of the two organizations, they use the words promote and foster! Is that what they are doing?

It could be argued that, those former fencers now prominent in other sports or activities have been driven from fencing because of the inability to provide suitable incentives or career paths for senior fencers. After all, a major object of Fenz is, “To promote and foster the participation by New Zealand fencers in competitions and meetings with fencers from other countries than New Zealand.” That may happen if you are a school fencer, but the wide age disparity at the Dunedin Nationals belies that fact – 14 – 60-years-old with the majority under 20 or in their early 20s, with Golly Gosh, a 16-year-old in a final of a Senior Nationals! There seems to be a whole age group, mid 20s to early 40s, missing. Having said that are there any senior fencers? Certainly the turnout the Dunedin Nationals would suggest there were not many, as did the last North Island Champs. Both had tiny fields nowhere near the numbers of the past – 103 individual entries at one Pnife held in Palmers ton North in the early 1990s.

Now the time has come to rebuild those numbers. They will grow with nurturing and encouragement. They will grow when all involved in our sport, in any way whatsoever, plan and work together. For example, lets make the fencing part of this year’s Uni Games the most welcoming, encouraging and satisfying fencing experience for all.

Kind regards,

Vik Manuge.



Remember the Rothman's tobacco company?

Back in the 1960s and 70s they sponsored sports such as Fencing. This shot was taken in the old Canterbury University Gym on the Town Site, now the Academy Picture Theatre at the Arts Centre during a training camp by Prof ????(need a bit of help here) The next shot is from the same period and shows steam, or dry non-electric, sabre in action - present are Mann, Miller, De Luen, Dobbie among others. Now to the present day and action at the recent schools comp at Linwood College late last month.



31/5/2008: A sporting rant.......


Will Sparc and others involved in paying for high-performance sports teams review the money they spend on those teams? No doubt the failure of the Americas Cup yachties the rugby and netball teams and not to forget the Black Caps, will impel some sort of appraisal, but will it happen? Should it happen?

Sports writer Tony Smith, of The Press, in a recent article suggested that team sports could be on the way out and wondered if it was the rise of individual sports that has led to a “diminution of the potential talent pool for team sports.” Whether team sports are on the way out depends on whether you view them from a high performance or a participation viewpoint.

If it is participation you are after then Sparc and the other sports bodies seem to do a pretty good job. What, with the quaintly named Push Play and other programmes hundreds of thousands of Kiwis get a taste of exercise through sport and in particular, team sports. According to Sparc, the most popular sports in New Zealand, measured by club memberships are: Golf 128,860; Netball 120,440 ; Soccer 105,023; Rugby Union 98,543 and Cricket 87,100, plus there are all number of minor sports of which fencing is but one. It all means a huge number of Kiwis are taking part in sport.

If it is performance and results then as Smith says; “A startling number of our recent sporting heroes have been individuals (or twins in the case of the Evers-Swindells). Cyclist Sarah Ulmer, triathletes Hamish Carter and Bevan Docherty, shot-putter Valerie Vili and rower scullers Rob Wardell and Mahe Drysdale.”” He leaves out Michael Campbell, an individual sportsman who has had a huge impact on golfing youngsters, but he makes a strong point for individualism. Is he right?

I think so from two points of view. First is the sheer cost of developing, training and running a team compared to that of an individual. It is a whole lot cheaper to send one or two individual athletes and a coach/manager than a 15-strong team, along with all the hangers on that go with modern high-performance sport, to compete overseas. Second, is the limited numbers of participants available in New Zealand. Four and bit million people is not a large gene pool from which to identify, nurture and develop world champions.

Sparc invests around $60 million per year on organisations and programmes which help it to achieve its mission. This includes assisting 762 carded individual athletes from 27 sports. The top sports by carded athletes are Rowing 90, Bike 57, Athletics 55 and Yachting 53. At the lower end, Motorcycling has one, Synchronised Swimming two, Volleyball three and Waterski four, Fencing – none!. Sparc also believes that New Zealanders winning in international events is important or it offers social, economic and health benefits: It helps create a strong sense of national identity and pride; It creates a healthy image for marketing New Zealand goods abroad; It helps attract high profile sports events to New Zealand; It encourages New Zealanders to be more active.

So, is the emphasis on team sports the right way to get the best return from the investment? The East Germans took a long hard look at this when in the early 1960s they embarked on a plan to compete in little known individual sports to get more results for their money. That hardheaded approach also saw the GDR focus on talent recognition and development. Teachers looked for potential in children from primary school age onwards and those picked out were encouraged to attend schools with a focus on sport. Between the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, the first time it competed as a separate country, and those of 1972 in Munich only four years later, the German Democratic Republic had gone from fifth to third place in the overall medals list behind the Soviet Union and the United States. Not bad for a country with a population of 16 million, but the downside to that success was the welter of drug use and abuse stories which came to light when the two German states reunited in 1990.

However, not all the sports people were taking drugs and the hardheaded medals for money approach the GDR took to sport may be worth serious study for sports mad Kiwis. But, don’t hold your breath, for the current Politically Correct, never win never fail, rationale endemic in Kiwi society will put a stop to that. All I know as a fencing coach is that the talent is here and if someone fronted up with a $1million smackeroos I’d guarantee them a Commonwealth or World Cup medal in four to six years and even better in six to eight years or, their money back! Now go and multiply that by ten or so individual sports.



29/5/2008: This week’s picture selection is a bit different – no fencing shots. First up is the Morris Minor van that acted as mobile sleeping quarters for an Italian world foil champion in Christchurch, New Zealand, last year. Next up (I bet most of you have not seen one before!) is a flat-twin 200cc LE Velocette motor cycle. Built in the UK and called a Noddy Bike because of their widespread use by British Police, this example took me on a tour of the North Island in the early 70’s. Last but not least is this unusual being sighted in Rothbury, a wee market town in the north of England about 12 miles from Alnwick, a few months ago:



24/5/2008: Read all about Kiwi fencer Jess Beer's decision NOT to try for the Olympics!

Sad but true Jess, who topped the British womens epee rankings earlier this year, probably could not meet NZOC standards though Brit fencers she out ranks could be going.



23/5/2008: Entry form and details for South Island Fencing Championships in Dunedin.



22/5/2008: You read it here first! Selection criteria for MidSouth teams....


Dear Fencers,

As selector, I have been asked to select two teams of fencers in each weapon where numbers allow of fencers to compete on behalf of Mid-South in the teams events at the national fencing champs to be held 25-27 October 2008.

To assist in this process I have completed a set of selection criteria which are as follows:

  1. Fencers will be selected based on their results at:
    1. the North Island fencing champs
    2. the South Island fencing champs
    3. results achieved at the Mid-South Open in early October

The weighting will be on results achieved at the Mid-South Open although ‘aberrations’ in performance compared to earlier tournaments, sickness etc will be taken into account.

  1. A ‘squad’ will be named on or around 12 July where the squad will include a maximum of 10 people in each event. The squad may have less than 10 people at the selector’s discretion, the aim being that fencers named in the squad are at a level deemed acceptable for Mid-South representation at Nationals.
  2. Squad members will be notified in writing where possible prior to 12 July and the final selection published on or as close to 12 July as possible via email and the internet.
  3. The final teams will be named at the conclusion of the Mid-South Open 4/5 October.
  4. Final teams will comprise t wo teams of 3 fencers along with 1 reserve per weapon.
  5. The top 6 fencers selected in each weapon will comprise of the primary team members while the 7 th and 8 th ranked fencers will make up the reserves for the ‘A’ and ‘B’ team respectively.
  6. Team captains will be named with the usual responsibilities of team leadership, ensuring team members are prepared both before and during the competition and to represent the team to the organisers. The captains will be selected based on leadership ability and knowledge of the rules rather than fencing ability (although the two may coincide).
  7. The teams selected will be named at the conclusion of the Mid-South Open.
  8. Fencers interested in selection are encouraged to make their interest known to the selector (Robert) in person or by email ( although this is not essential as results will be considered initially.
  9. Equally, fencers who do not want to be considered for selection are also encouraged to note this with the selector.

Should any alterations be made to this process, notification will be emailed and posted on the Mid-South website.

(Robert Snoep is the MidSouth Selector. For those that may not know of him he is a former President of MidSouth and and has represented NZ at the Commonwealth Fencing Champs. He still fences sabre at a social level and runs marathons.)


18/5/2008: Even more pictures.

Who, what, where and when - you know the drill. First in with the correct answers wins a prize. They are all Kiwi fencers, or ex-fencers, this time!


9/5/2008: More pictures!

Milan (look at all that fencing silverware), Christchurch and a bewildered Kiwi in Madrid (the fellow without the broom) - who, what and when? Answers on a single site of A4 paper double spaced please.




MAY 2008



Engarde Seminar

Fencing MidSouth is offering all fencers the chance to learn more about Engarde.

Engarde is a computor programme specifically used for fencing tournament control. Expand your skills. A perfect chance for anyone who wants to learn to run an event or just wants to learn more about the sport.

All welcome to this free session.

The seminar will be held at 3pm, on Sunday the 11th of may, at the Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch.

RSVP to below,


APRIL 2008:

29/04/2008: Medals for ChCh fencers at last weekend's NZ Cadets and U15s; Sally McCance won gold in the Womens foil and epee; Sam Ramsay, gold in the foil, William Cowper, gold in the sabre and bronze in the epee; Wae ling Chan, bronze in the U15 girls foil.

26/4/2008: Well done Sam Ramsay, of Christchurch, newest NZ Cadet foil champion to add to your silver and bronze epee medals in the NZ Senior Champs and your gold in the Australian U15 epee! Same for Sally McCance, also of Christchurch, for winning the womens foil gold. Partial results are posted on the Fenz website - see Links Page.

25/4/2008: Have a look at this fencing website of the Southern Men! Also, results of Kiwi fencers at the Asian Games at this place.

17/04/2008: Uni Games results...

Canterbury University fencer Andreas Sesun wins foil and epee events at the Uni Games. See Uni Games for more results plus interviews and pix.

15/4/2008: Are you here???

Pix from two recent competitions in Christchurch.

Below, from the Olga Jeykll mixed teams at Linwood College - Look! Carville Stewart, far right points out 86-year-old fencing Matriarch Olga Jeykll chatting with competitor Brendan Lindsay.


Spectators and competitors at the MidSouth U15s and U17 Championships held at the Fencing Institute - centre, a competitor comes to a grinding stop in the foil event.



Fencer to Shun Beijing Olympic opening ceremony.

German fencer Imke Duplitzer has said she will not attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. The 33-year-old epeeist won silver in the women's' team epee at the Athens Olympics along with team-mates Claudia Bokel and Britta Heidemann. A poll indicates that the majority of German athletes bound for Beijing will be competing. This ties in with what athletes from other countries are saying, however there is no information available on how many will not be attending the opening ceremony in protest about China's human rights record.



The 2008 Uni Games start Monday in Rotorua and end on Thursday also New Zealand University Blues awards take place in June so, it could be considered appropriate to list those Fencers who have won Blues - where are they now?


Name Sport Year Campus
A Simmance Fencing 1951 Otago
A Simmance Fencing 1953 Otago
A Simmance Fencing 1952 Otago
A Trousdale Fencing 1945 Otago
A Trousdale Fencing 1948 Otago
A Trousdale Fencing 1946 Otago
A Wane Fencing 1947 Canterbury
Andrew Harmos Fencing 1980 Auckland
Andrew Harmos Fencing 1979 Auckland
Andrew Harmos Fencing 1981 Auckland
Antony Fake Fencing 1998 Victoria
B Cato Fencing 1946 Victoria
B Hampton Fencing 1950 Victoria
B Hampton Fencing 1949 Victoria
Berwyn Gibbons Fencing 1938 Canterbury
C Cameron Fencing 1950 Auckland
C West Fencing 1949 Auckland
D Broadfoot Fencing 1945 Auckland
D Fussell Fencing 1959 Victoria
D Fussell Fencing 1955 Victoria
D Swain Fencing 1965 Canterbury
Daniel Wilson Fencing 1994 Otago
Daniel Wilson Fencing 1993 Otago
Fraser Stephen-Smith Fencing 1995 Victoria
Fraser Stephen-Smith Fencing 1997 Victoria
Gareth Foley Fencing 1996 Canterbury
Gareth Foley Fencing 1990 Otago
Gavin McLean Fencing 1986 Victoria
George Stratigopoulos Fencing 1971 Victoria
George Stratigopoulos Fencing 1969 Victoria
Graham Harris Fencing 1977 Canterbury
Graham Harris Fencing 1975 Canterbury
Graham Harris Fencing 1972 Canterbury
Helen Wicher Fencing 1964 Victoria
Helen Wicher Fencing 1967 Victoria
Helen Wicher Fencing 1966 Victoria
Helen Wicher Fencing 1965 Victoria
J Matheson Fencing 1954 Canterbury
Jennifer Hope Fencing 2002
Jessica Beer Fencing 2002 Massey PN
Jessica Beer Fencing 2001 Massey Palmerston North
Jessica Beer Fencing 2000
K de Luen Fencing 1970 Otago
Kate Rennie Fencing 1988 Victoria
Lesley Calver Fencing 1974 Auckland
Lesley Calver Fencing 1975 Auckland
M Fillenz Fencing 1945 Otago
M Sharfe Fencing 1954 Otago
M Sharfe Fencing 1959 Canterbury
M Sharfe Fencing 1952 Otago
M Sharfe Fencing 1958 Canterbury
M Sharfe Fencing 1957 Otago
M Sharfe Fencing 1960 Canterbury
M Tait Fencing 1956 Otago
M Tait Fencing 1955 Otago
M Tait Fencing 1957 Otago
M Tilby Fencing 1957 Otago
M Tilby Fencing 1958 Otago
Mynetta Erueti Fencing 1990 Victoria
Natasha Buist Fencing 2002 Victoria
Norman West Fencing 1952 Canterbury
Oliver Shapleski Fencing 1996 Victoria
P Lusk Fencing 1952 Otago
P Ring Fencing 1967 Otago
Peter Osvath Fencing 1979 Victoria
Peter Osvath Fencing 1978 Victoria
Peter Osvath Fencing 1981 Victoria
Peter Osvath Fencing 1977 Canterbury
Peter Osvath Fencing 1980 Victoria
R Binning Fencing 1959 Victoria
R Binning Fencing 1957 Victoria
R Dickison Fencing 1945 Canterbury
R Holliss Fencing 1946 Canterbury
Richard Bowles Fencing 1997 Victoria
Sarah Raudkivi Fencing 2002 Auckland
Stephen Clarke Fencing 1975 Otago
T Grace Fencing 1949 Otago
W Stevens Fencing 1951 Victoria
W Stevens Fencing 1950 Victoria
W West Fencing 1949 Auckland
W West Fencing 1947 Auckland
Waimaria Erueti Fencing 1988 Victoria
Wayne Hudson Fencing 1981 Auckland
Zoltan Apathy Fencing 1967 Auckland


Fenz website is back up.

Examples of lunging from Italy and Spain, plus three rather tired Kiwis take a rest outside a Madrid fencing club.a lunge


Want to know what happened at the Fenz AGM last Saturday?

Really? Well people flew in from Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. The meeting lasted from 10.30am to nearly 3pm, but very little appears to have been decided. The major decision seemingly to defer everything for three months with the Present Tiumvirate of Martin, Steve and Laura remaining in power until then.

Good on Fenz Lifemember Gaylene Ongley for travelling all the way from Auckland.

If you want to know more, quizz your local rep who attended, Dave Barston (South), Keith Mann (MidSouth), Vicci Lamb (Central) and the proxy for Laura Harvey (North).

To put it bluntly, fencers, coaches and others deserve the best management they can elect. Once elected the fencers should get in behind and support those taking up the, frankly onerous, job. The time for politicking and trade-offs is BEFORE the election, not after it.

Fencing in New Zealand could be worse - it could be on a slippery downwards slide like Rugby Union where decisions seemingly made by a minority appear to have pissed off the majority (well here in ChCh anyway) - does that look like democracy? And that is with a Professional Managment body with few, if any, amateur volunteers to worry about!

MARCH 2008:


You must have heard of Kachaturian's Sabre Dance? Well here is the Kiwi version executed by some young sabreurs at the Fencing Institute in Christchurch.





Date: Friday 25 April – Sunday 27 April 2008

Venue: St Mary’s College, Guildford terrace, Thorndon, Wellington.

Entry Fees: Entry for Individual events is $35.00 first weapon, $15.00 for each additional weapon. (International entries $35.00 per person).

An additional late entry fee (in addition to the standard fee) of $50 per weapon will apply for entries postmarked after the closing date .

Entry Fees are payable to “FenCen”.

Entries: All individual NZ entries must be made on the attached entry form and received by the closing date, Monday 14 April 2006, 5pm. All entries must include payment. Send entries to:

The Competition Organiser

NZ U15 / SS / Cadets

P O Box 28-056


Email entry accepted only for international entries , to:

Membership: All fencers must be correctly affiliated at the time of entry.

Clothing and Equipment: All Clothing and Equipment must comply with FeNZ‘s clothing rules as posted on the FeNZ web site.=

- Where a fencer has access to the higher standard clothing and equipment it should always be used in preference irrespective of any minimum lower standard requirement.

All equipment must be approved by Weapons Control and bear the appropriate marking. It is usual for Weapons control to also check the following:

  • Masks for safety (must be fitted with back straps) and conductivity ( sabre )
  • Lame jackets for conductivity
  • Bodywires (for conductivity)
  • Gauntlets / Gloves for conductivity ( sabre )

Competition Format: First round pools will generally consist of 5 – 7 fencers (bouts to 5 hits) with all fencers promoting to DE. Where numbers dictate, the Tournament Organiser reserves the right to run the first round of pools to split times and/or promote fencers directly to Direct Elimination.

Medals will be awarded for 1 st – 3 rd = place. There will not be a fence off for third with both losing semi finalists awarded Bronze medals. Certificates will be presented to the 8 finalists.


Catering: Food and drink will not be available at the venue. A large supermarket and a range of cafes are within walking distance.

Accommodation: A range of accommodation is available. We recommend that you check out the city hosting and accommodation websites to find accommodation that meets your needs.

Tournament Organiser: Fencing Central (on behalf of FeNZ)

Fencing Central

C/- P O Box 28 056


Contact – Vicci Lamb,


24/03/2008: Added more Kiwi fencing clubs to the Links Page - would appreciate them reciprocating with a link to The Fencing Master.

Also noted Fenz website is down or out.


Stop Press. Who will be the new Fenz President? Two names are being mentioned. One from ChCh and one from Wgt. Who are they? What is their plan for New Zealand fencing? Do you care? Make sure you follow the results of the Fenz AGM in the next week or so or, get in touch with your local fencing org to ask who THEY are supporting!

I hear an announcement is soon to be made about Kiwi fencers heading for the Asian Games!? Watch this space for further info.

And now for something completely different, some photos of famous and not so famous fencers and events; World Champs in Cape Town; Challenge Australia and a fine portrait of a top Spanish sabreur in Madrid.




Spanish fencing lost a well respected fencing master recently. Mâitre d'armes Martin Kronlund, born 1916 died March 1st 2008 aged 92.

Kronland was born in Sweden and lived in Spain for more than 40 years after a career of teaching Fencing in Europe, starting with the Scandinavian Royal houses. He had degrees from the Swedish, French and Italian fencing academies and was a true gentleman and swordsman.

He moved to Madrid in 1964 to teach fencing at Madrid university at the higher National Institute of Education (I.N.E.F).

A mentor and teacher to Spanish Fencing for the last 40 years they mourned his passing last week as did the orienteering community with which he was also involved.


Updated Books and Links pages.



To help you plan your fencing calendar for the year here are the.....

2008 TERM DATES for New Zealand Schools.


Term 1

Tuesday 29 January (at the earliest); and
Thursday 7 February (at the latest).


Friday 18 April (98 - 110 half-days)

Term 2

Monday 5 May


Friday 4 July (88 half-days)

Term 3

Monday 21 July


Friday 26 September (100 half-days)

Term 4

Monday 13 October


No later than Friday 19 December (98 half-days) *

* Or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for 384 half-days in 2008.


Term 1

Tuesday 29 January (at the earliest); and
Thursday 7 February (at the latest).


Friday 18 April (98 - 110 half-days)

Term 2

Monday 5 May


Friday 4 July (88 half-days)

Term 3

Monday 21 July


Friday 26 September (100 half-days)

Term 4

Monday 13 October


Wednesday 17 December (94 half days)*

* Or to a day in December which ensures that the school has been open for instruction for 380 half-days in 2008.

2008 Holidays
Schools must be closed in 2008 on Saturdays and Sundays and on the following days:

New Years Day 1 January
Day after New Years Day 2 January
Waitangi Day Wednesday 6 February
Good Friday 21 March
Easter Monday 24 March
Day after Easter Monday 25 March
Anzac Day Friday 25 April
Queen's Birthday Monday 2 June
Labour Day Monday 27 October
Christmas Day 25 December
Boxing Day 26 December
and the relevant Anniversary Day Holiday as listed below

Anniversary Day Holidays 2008


Monday 28 January

Within school holidays


Monday 10 March

Within Term 1

Hawkes Bay

Friday 24 October

Within Term 4


Monday 21 January

Within school holidays


Monday 3 November

Within Term 4


Monday 4 February

Within school holidays


Friday 14 November

Within Term 4

Canterbury (South)

Monday 22 September

Within Term 1


Monday 1 December

Within Term 4


Monday 24 March

Within Term 1 (Easter)


Monday 14 January

Within school holidays

Chatham Islands

Monday 1 December

Within Term 4




Happy Kiwi fencers watch the action at Challenge Australia; Helen Smith, the boss of Aussie fencing, lines up with helpers to present the medals; Mens' epee at the Capetown World Champs and, finally, artistic moves (unintentional we hasten to add) at Winter Tournament (now known as the University Games). Is the fencer on the right Bob Miller?



Midsouth Tournament Schedule 2008





29-30 March

Midsouth U15/17



12 April

Olga Jekyll Open handicap/ mixed teams


United fencing club

25-28 April

NZ U15/17


24-25 May

Christchurch school champs



2 June

North Island champs

To be decided

21-22 June

Midsouth U20



28 June

South Island champs


9-10 August

Midsouth SS



20-21 September

Eccleston Epee


University club

27 September

New Zealand juniors


4-5 October

Midsouth Open


Keith, Rob and Geoff

25-28 October  


To be decided*  


6-7 December

Baby cham U13


Keith, Rob and Geoff

Any queries contact Mid south tournament co-ordinator.18/03/2008:

Mid-South U17 and U15 Championships 2008


29 & 30 March


The Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, off Whiteleigh Drive near the Rugby League Park.

Roll Call:

Saturday 9am Sabre, 10.30amWomen’s Foil/Men’s Epee

Sunday 10am Women’s Epee, Men’s Foil

Entry Fee:

There is no charge for Fencing Mid South affiliated fencers (including those who affiliate on the day of the competition).

For all other fencers the charge is $10.

Return entries to:

The Secretary, Fencing Mid South

Post your entries to PO Box 29141, Fendalton. Entries must be received by 27 March.


Seeding round with all promoted then direct elimination. U15 and U17 fencers mixed with top eight U15 fencers having a separate DE final series


All fencers must wear correct protective clothing - fencing jacket, plastron or padding, glove, long white socks.

NB Whites are preferred but long trousers will be accepted. They must have no holes or openings along the leg.


You must have the regulation second weapon and second bodywire by the piste every time you fence. Weapons will be tested on the piste.



Updated Books and Links pages.



27/o2/2008: Wellington fencing club Toa Rangatira Fencers has moved. They are now in new premises at the Wellington Bowling Club in Brooklyn. They have around 40 members and are putting on extra classes for the Little People (children)! Contact:

Robert or Vicki
Ph:(04)476 8129 Robert (04)970 7496 Vicki

We coach all from 7yrs onwards and welcome older fencers returning to the best sport in the world. Our philosophy is: "First with the head then with the heart" and guiding individuals to the highest levels of satisfaction and achievement.



Have a look at this site, the Surrey County Fencing Union:

You can link to it from the Links Page (Jono that thingie is not working again! That was a cry to my web expert cos I can get the link thingie to work from the other page, but not this one - yeah, I know, call me Stupid!)

It is one of the best fencing sites I have come accross with lots of good info on fixing grear, rules and a wee booklet on beginning competitions - well worth a look!


If you want to raise something to do with fencing or just come and see a fencing democracy in action, or just to feed or bait the animals (I mean officials) feel free to turn up on these dates. The AGM in March could be interesting!

Fencing Mid-South

Meeting schedule 2008/9

Meetings are held at the Cranmer Centre, Montreal Street, Room 101, 5.30pm.

Feb 15

March 14

AGM Mar 27, Cranmer Centre, 7.00 pm

April 18

May 16

June 13

July 18

Aug 15

Sept 12

Oct 10

Nov 14

(Dec 12)

Jan 23

Feb 13


They say that fencing is poetry in motion. Below are a couple of pix that may substantiate that idea. The fellow in the centre is Kiwi poet James K Baxter, while Sarah Osvath executes a cunning sidestep at the world champs and Graham Harris and friend demonstrate an unusual style of epee footwork.


Former top epeeist and Uni fencer Nic Mason is selling his fencing gear before leaving for Europe. He is a tall, slim right-hander and his gear is all FIE and 800N. Get in touch with him :



Our ancient art and modern sport is underway with many school clubs and the major senior clubs starting in the next few weeks.

The Fencing Institute has be going for some weeks now, Mondays foil with some epee and sabre, Wednesdays sabre with some foil and epee and Thursdays epee with some foil and sabre. All from 6.30pm on except Wednesday which has a regular sabre class from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

United Fencing Club starts Tuesday 26th February in the Gym at Avonside Girls High School at 7pm. Newcomers start the following Tuesday night - foil, epee and sabre.

Canterbury University Fencing Club starts Saturday 15th March at 10.30am. Initial instruction in Epee only - because it is cheaper for students to take part in comps - but foil and sabre encouraged.

Christchurch Fencing Academy meets at Burnside High School, no up-to-date information available.



All the Kiwi fencing Tournaments for this year have been posted at: Oops, its not a live link - Jono, help!



Varsity fencers have something to look forward to....

*****They have a chance for a trip to compete at the Australian Universities champs in Sept.

A team to represent New Zealand Universeties will be selected in April after the Uni Games in Rotorua. Fencing is being held Monday 14 - Thursday 17 April at the Waiariki Institute of Technology
Mokoia Drive.



More pictures to pique your interest.

Who, what, where and when? Some hints, in the first pic the coach has taught top epeeists in Russia, Cuba and Italy. In the second, the one-armed fencer had a habit of doing forward rolls down the piste when he lost his balance and last, but not least, the ghostly figure has a PhD before his name and is an expert in olive oil!



Training tips:

Have a squiz at this site:



On Thursday 7th February former ChCh (shorthand for Christchurch) fencer Andy Thompson and stalwart of the Canterbury University Fencing Club, will be lunching at Fred's (Pronto Nachos) in New Regent Street and welcomes old friends and acquaintances to break bread with him, so to speak. All welcome, and no he is NOT paying!

Now studying at the National Australian University in Canberra, Andy, or Bicen to those who know him better, has crossed the pond to briefly visit family and spend a few days hooning round Wanaka.





Scoff protein with your workout.

Body builders can become obsessed with their diet even to the point of gobbling supplements while working out. Timing what you scoff is important says a new study of protein supplements. Undertaken in Melbourne, the study shows that muscle mass increases two to three kilogrammes in those eating protein immediately before or after weight training compared to the one to one-and-a-half Kg for those that do not. This comes into line with previous studies indicating that muscles recover better when protein is consumed straight after training.

For serious fencers this could mean coming to training with a protein bar!

Get more sleep - if you can.

Recent research is suggesting that teenagers are biologically incapable of going to sleep at a reasonable time and that making them get up before their bodies are ready put them and the people around them at risk. For teenagers sleep deprivation can harm their future prospects and health, while those around them can suffer from stress induced by the tired and grumpy teenagers. Research also shows that intelligence scores plummet in those suffering sleep deprivation and that that they have a higher incidence of cancer, depression and are more susceptible to disease. Experts recommend that adolescents get at least nine hours sleep a night.

For serious adolescent fencers this could mean an early to bed late to rise regime and for organizers to start their events later in the day!

27/1/2008: The Canterbury University Fencing Club starts on Saturday 23rd February in the Ballroom, Illam Road, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Then there is a slight hiccup and the club will resume on March 15th. Clubs Days are Tuesday and Wednesday February 26th and 27th. Vounteers are needed to man, or woman, the club's enrollment desk and sign up new members.

CUFC is the oldest fencing club in New Zealand and celebrates it 80th birthday this year!!


Two tidbits. The first, is that the Sabre Sessions at the Fencing Institute will recommence next Wednesday at 6.30pm to 7.30pm for beginners and intermediates and from 7.30pm to 8.30pm for seniors and intermediates with their own electric gear.

The second tidbit concerns Alex Chan as this photo shows......

We hope his fracture heals quickly.


Kiwi Referee to officiate in Kuwait!

Former top fencer now turned ref, Steve Clarke, flies out of Christchurch on Wednesday to referee at an international epee tournament in Kuwait City.

The desert duel, an annual event run by the Kuwait Fencing Federation, with prize money of $US30,000 it has attracted 140 fencers from 30 countries.

More important is that the Grand Prix event is one of the last chances for fencers and countries to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

Clarke is one of six Kiwi FIE graded refs and the international body is flying him to Kuwait City as part of its drive to provide neutral referees at international events.

On his return Clarke will be holding a seminar for local fencers and referees on the evening of Friday 15th February at the Fencing Institute under the auspices of Fencing MidSouth.


Remember flick hits? That satisfyingly intense moment when you could hit round the flank or shoulder and through someone's attempt to parry? Now gone like pineapple or serrated tips and fleches in sabre and only remembered by those more mature among us. Here is a photo from the North Island Champs (Pnife) some years ago when it was held in Palmerston North under the guidence of Pam French - note it is two lefthanders Lowell Mallon, left, and Chris McCarthy.


The Press and other media seemed to have latched on to the story that British junior doctors are verbally abused by their seniors as well as by their patients. However Christchurch fencing pyhsio Scott can go one better - a patient inadvertently broke one of Scott's ribs during treatment! Now, that I can understand for I once kicked him accidentally when he was working on my back and pushed the wrong spot, but abusing your medico? That's like abusing your coach. And we all know what that leads to. I wonder if the abuse was before treatment?

In the photos below two well-known Christchurch fencers are the subjects of some arty shots at the Canterbury University before it became the Christchurch Arts Centre and now, about to be, commercial/business centre. The smart-looking referee in the centre is well-known across the pond.

10/1/2008: More photos for your entertainment. Any ideas, who what and where?


There have been three enquiries about Commonwealth Fencing events. One for the seniors and two for juniors. A look at the Commonwealth Fencing Federation site provided no information, but a quick net search found this on the Scottish Fencing site:

"Commonwealth News"

At a meeting of the Commonwealth Fencing Federation Council on 22nd November 2007, possible venues for future championships were considered.

The situation reported was as follows:

Commonwealth Veterans, 2009 - A bid by Jersey has been received.

Senior CFF Championships 2010 - No bid has yet been received; Canada are still investigating options. No other potential host has expressed interest.

Junior CFF Championships Jan 2009 - No formal bid has been received, but at the meeting a firm offer was made by Malaysia to host the event in Kuala Lumpur

More news and confirmations will be provided when available

You can have a look at:


............KIWI FENCER TOPS IN BRITAIN!................

While researching the above this was found on the British fencing site:

Top 100 - 01.01.2008

Pl  Name Club
1 Maynard Jo One Two Six
NZ Beer Jessica   New Zealand
2 Albini Elisa U/A
3 Lawrence Corinna Plymouth

See complete rankings at:


Arnold Bennett wrote this jolly jingle:

There was a young man of Montrose

Who had pockets in none of his clothes.

When asked by his lass

Where he carried his brass

He said, “Darling I pay through the nose.”

And I wrote these words six months ago for the incoming officers of Fencing MidSouth. You may have some thoughts of your own about improving and promoting fencing. If so submit them for publication on this site.


Fencing is a TINY sport in New Zealand. In Melbourne with a population of over four millions, which is equal to the population for the WHOLE of New Zealand, they have around 2600 fencers. I doubt we have anywhere near A QUARTER of that in New Zealand. So what is it that they do in Melbourne and we don’t do here? Blah, blah and blah, I could go on for hours, but you, dear reader would only get bored. However there are two things any kiwi fencer can do to promote their sport at any time without having to ask for permission or do too much thinking. First, invite a friend or acquaintance to try fencing. Second, when somebody new turns up at your club talk to them and make them welcome. Make them feel part of something special – an ancient art and modern sport!

There is a third thing that can be done at no cost to anyone, other than a bit of forward planning and time, and that is publicity. Publicity can mean anything from putting paid advertisements in newspapers or magazines to giving out flyers or putting up posters in malls and sports centres.

But, there is another subtle and extremely efficient way of getting FREE publicity. That is having the results of tournaments published in the local media. In fact, it should be mandatory for those involved in running tournaments, especially our major tournaments, to e-mail all the results immediately after the end of the tourney to the local media not two or three days later or, what usually happens, never. The media likes its meat FRESH not old and rotten.

There is a saying in the media business that “News is something, that someone, somewhere, doesn’t want known. Everything else is advertising.” So why would businesses out to make a profit want to advertise a silly little sport like Fencing? Simple, they want silly little fencers and their friends to read, listen to or watch their business. They do that by offering content. Appropriate content.

Look at what is happening with The Press, Christchurch’s only pay-to-read newspaper. Its circulation is falling. Why? I think because it is not offering appropriate content. In fact The Star, one of those four or five Christchurch give-away papers, has increased its circulation. I think readers of The Press are sick of crap and pap, which was what The Star and the other give-aways provided and what The Press has started to do when it made redundancies and started cost cutting after its latest takeover. Now it is coming down to the level of the give-aways and people are thinking twice about paying for it. Much the same has happened to TVNZ. So how can Fencing take advantage of this? Simply provide good copy, or story ideas, and play the media off against each other. Circulation and audience share are cyclic and what goes down rises and I have no doubt the circulation of The Press will improve, but whatever the circulation or audience share FENCING can benefit!

Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is, but it requires much hard work, time and dedication by someone who has a nose for a story and the media contacts to make it work. But work it can and it should produce one to two pages and five to ten minutes of radio and TV coverage in Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington each year. To put it in perspective you are talking over $16,000 for a one page colour advertisement in The Press and around $18,000 for 30 seconds on TV. Now you can start to see why there are so many Public Relations firms around producing press releases for clients, it is BIG business and FENCING is missing out, all for the sake of a bit of forethought and planning. In fact, publicity has a better chance of raising more money each year for fencing to the tune of ALL the money spent by Fenz and local clubs in the last five years. Yes, dear reader, a well-organized publicity programme could INVEST around $200,000 a year in fencing in each of the main centres!

So get to it. Appoint someone as PR/Media person (try a media student from the nearest Uni, Poly or High School, someone with enthusiasm and time) give them some help and direction and get going – communicate! Then we can move on to the next step – sponsorship! Imagine how many sponsors would want to support a sport with a million dollar coverage in the media?

To help you on the way, here is a list of e-mail contacts for New Zealand media. Add to them or alter them as you wish, but if you develop your own drop me a line so’s I can update my list. If you have an idea for publicity let me know, but not a few days or hours before the event. Same thing, if you need a hand or someone to bounce ideas off let me know for the more of us promoting the sport the easier it is. A story idea for Christchurch could be one for Wellington or Auckland – communicate!

Provide the facts. Who, what, where, when and how. Let the media get back to you for the colour and gossip if they want. Remember each organization has its own style, so make sure you send the results in the style, or format, they use. Otherwise they may not use them at ALL.


The first snow of 2008 falls near Edinburgh last night. While Kiwis and, particularly, Aussies bake under the summer sun, Scotland and Yorkshire are experiencing heavy snowfalls - remember, you read it here first!

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