Sad day for fencing
BUMBLING FOOLS. Gazette sports editors from left: Ryan Hickman, Jordan
Bell and Benjamin Mills convinced men's fencing coach Brad Winder
they were master swordsmen... really.
The football team
gets a million dollar stadium. The basketball team gets enough shoes to
make Emelda Marcos jealous. The fencing team gets a church conference
room tucked away in the bowels of Westminster Hall.
Welcome to the illustrious world of fencing.
Possibly the epitome of a team that is hanging on by the seat of their
pants, the Western fencing team does it all, even when practice facilities
are over-booked (for the second time in a row), forcing them to trudge
across a snowy campus to hone their swordsmenship in another residence
Today, they clear their makeshift piste of tables and chairs with the
help of three totally clueless sports editors: sounds glamorous, doesn't
Fencing may not be one of the top three sports on campus hell,
it may not even be in the top 10. But just like any other varsity athlete
on campus, if you prick a fencer, doth he not bleed?
Chances are they won't, due to protective vests, but before my corniness
got the better of me, myself and fellow sports gurus, Jordan Bell and
Ryan Hickman, took a stab at fencing.
There's that corniness again.
We went through all the motions that any Mustangs fencer would go through
at a regular practice: the toe touching, the groin stretching, the trunk
rotations. Remember that Grade 10 gym teacher that made you sit against
a wall to the point where your thighs felt like boiling acid was surging
through them? Well, we did that too.
None of this was expected. Instead of the usual walk in, shake hands,
ask the usual questions, smile, wish them luck and walk out interview,
we were subjected to the same exercises as the rest of the team.
A rush of giddiness befell the three of us upon receiving our foils, and
yes, an invisible "Z" was etched into the air on several occasions.
We were hooked into their electronic point-scoring device that unleashes
an annoying buzz when a fencer scores a hit, and off we went.
I think the buzzer wore out.
After about an hour of flailing and getting poked more than the Pillsbury
Doughboy, our debacle with the Western fencing team came to a close. Although
our one-hour crash course didn't make Musketeers out of us after all,
we did get a chance to see the camaraderie and love for a sport that receives
no respect, no love, no money and no fans. We left with grins from ear-to-ear,
feeling that warmth you get only after seeing a puppy saved, or maybe
a child's first steps.
Now that was corny.