Starting last Saturday at 5 p.m., the fencing club embarked on an ambitious 24-hour fencing marathon in Morrell Gymnasium.
The fencing club aimed to use this event to attract new members and teach interested students how to fence. The club also hoped to help current members of the club connect with each other as their season comes to a close.
“This is a great way to get everyone back together because pretty much everyone who has been involved [with] the fencing team has covered part of the 24 hours and been able to come and fence for a while,” captain Tate Taczak ’23 said.
Many newcomers who had never fenced before came to the event to learn how. In the interest of saving time, the club provided prospective fencers with a quick lesson and practice round that lasted fewer than 20 minutes.
In addition to this training, the club provided equipment and protective clothing for all those interested in learning. The club also set up a pitch with a buzzer system to automatically indicate which side had point contact.
“[Club members] gave us a rundown of the sport and got us equipped with the proper gear. We did some safety precaution training and got to it,” Mason Daugherty ’25, an event attendee, said. “It was a pretty unique and great way to destress or settle disputes even.”
The real feat of the event was the 24-hour goal. Captain Joanne Du ’24 stayed the entire 24 hours, sleeping on an air mattress in the corner of the gym. This meant that throughout the 24 hours, there was at least one person monitoring the event at all times.
The team hopes to do this kind of event again to continue to spread the word about its sport.
“We’re pretty optimistic about doing it again. There are some changes. For example, maybe ending at 5 p.m. is not the best idea because apparently we do not sleep,” Du said.
Before this event, the team had been practicing two to three times per week to prepare for various tournaments where members of the team compete individually. They recently competed in their last event of the season and wanted to bring the club together for a big end-of-semester event.
Next year, they hope that those who learned about fencing from this event will continue to train with them and help grow their team.
“Most of the team is new [and] started fencing this year. I am proud of the progress we made, and I’m really glad with the team we have. I’m really excited to see who turns up next semester because it looks like we’ll have new people,” Du said.