Olympian and coach Maduma back in EL for fencing clinic

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GET your épée out and practise your footwork as 2008 Olympian and internationally qualified masters fencing coach Sello Maduma is back in Buffalo City for another fencing clinic.

TOUCHÉ: Olympian and masters fencing coach Sello Maduma, centre, will hold a fencing clinic at Hudson Park High School in conjunction with the Buffalo Fencing Club. Pictured are, from left, Rhys Poovan, Sanchia Poovan, Poala Signorile and Buffalo Fencing Club coach Pearl Singorile at the fencing clinic which was held in January in East London

Maduma held a similar clinic in January which was attended by about 20 people at the then newly established Buffalo Fencing Club, which hopes to introduce more people to this unique sport.

“When I was in Buffalo City for the first time in January, I sort of fell in love with the place and I liked the passion and determination from the Buffalo Fencing Club. I promised them that I would return, so here I am,” Maduma said.

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The coaching clinic will involve basic fencing drills and exposure to the different equipment used in bouts. Maduma will also provide basic one-on-one lessons and anyone who has an interest or is curious about this sport, is encouraged to attend.

“The clinic is mostly about introducing fencing to the kids in Buffalo City, but is open to anyone,” Maduma said.

“It will give people a chance to try something new apart from traditional sports and hopefully fall in love with fencing.”

Fencing is a sport that requires precision and discipline. According to Maduma, one of the most valuable lessons learnt while fencing is respect. “Self-respect, respect for your opponent, your coach and the crowd. It is a sport that teaches you the importance of such values,” he said.

It will give people a chance to try something new apart from traditional sports and hopefully fall in love with fencing

The clinic will be held on Saturday from 10am to 12pm at the Hudson Park High School at a fee of R50 per participant. All funds will be used for the improvement and enlargement of the Buffalo Fencing Club.

“We hold a weekly training session on Saturdays at Hudson Park High School and encourage anyone and everyone to come and be a part of this exciting sport,” founding member and coach of the Buffalo Fencing Club Pearl Signorile said.

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“I only started fencing when my daughter decided to become dedicated to the sport and it’s honestly been an amazing journey. Anyone can do it – boys, girls, young and old – it’s wonderful.”

Despite being a fairly new sport to East London, Signorile has seen a growing interest in fencing over the past few months.

“We are proud to say that the Buffalo Fencing Club is growing in numbers and we will be competing at a national level once again this month in Bloemfontein,” she said.

“We also have two new members – Zac Smith and Kevin Barnes – who are showing great potential and will be competing in the interprovincial district competition.”

“I have no doubt that they [the Buffalo Fencing Club] have a lot of potential to go to the very top with the correct guidance and training,” Maduma said.

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