The Galveston Fencing Club begins its spring 2014 session of classes on Monday, January 27. The club meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings in the gym at the O’Connell College Preparatory School. Classes for students age 8-12 are held from 6:15-7:15 p.m. Classes for ages 13 through adult are held from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
The club supplies rubber-tipped foils, masks, jackets, gloves and plastrons to students in the class at no extra fee. Students need only arrive wearing a T-shirt, sweatpants or warm-ups, and some type of athletic shoes. Shorts and sandals are not allowed for safety reasons.
Instructors this year include John Trojanowski, teaching beginners foil and epee; Kathy Machol, teaching youth footwork and games; Pat Faulkner, teaching beginners sabre; and, James Smith teaching beginners sabre.
The club will also host two tournaments this year. The Neomia Abbott Memorial, the only continuously held women’s tournament in Texas, named for a Galveston fencer of the 1950s, will be held on Saturday, March 15. The Buccaneer Open, named in honor of the O’Connell School mascot, will be held on Saturday, April 26.
The Galveston fencing club is a diverse collection of fencers, ranging in age from seven to those in their sixties. Some are beginners and others have been fencing for years. Members include a teacher, the owner of a real estate firm and the bosun of the Elissa.
While classes make up a large part of the club’s day to day functions, not everyone is a student or teacher. A number of club members already had fencing experience when they joined. For them the club is a place to meet twice a week, get some exercise and enjoy some friendly competition.
Class fees run $35.00 for five classes for non-members, but classes are free to members of the Galveston Fencing Club. Membership in the club is $40.00 per fencing year (August to July) for students and $80.00 per year for adults.
Classes are free to students of the O’Connell and Holy Family schools.