Fencing Gaining Popularity in Valley
Over the past couple of years, one sport has seen its particpation blow up in the Red River Valley and it's way off the traditional path, it's fencing. On Sunday the National Championships begin in Columbus, Ohio and for the first time the F-M Fencing club will be represented.
The Fargo-Moorhead Fencing club began in 2008 with just 3 fencers. Only a few years later, the club now is enjoying a rapid increase in members. The interest is coming from all age groups, ranging from senior citizens to elementary schoolers.
Enrique Alvarez - 'We actually increased our number of fencers in the 7 to 12 year old bracket by double this year. The high school group is also growing and even the adult group. We might even have a section just for adults next year.'
Six members qualified for nationals, Alvarez says he is proud of the group for reaching this achievement so quickly. The fencers who will be participating say they are excited to be able to compete on such a large stage.
Lizzie Powell- 'It's gonna be really crazy, it's going to be an honor to go to something that big, like so early too.'
Gideon Kamau - 'Feels pretty cool, I'm really excited for it I really can't wait. Knowing that there is much much better fencers out there than me, I'm going to have fun. Also to try to win but more to get more experience.'
Alvarez says most people are shocked the first time they try the sport. Most people discover pretty quickly that it's a lot more than just trying to poke your opponent with a stick.
Alvarez - 'I think people get surprised of the athleticism that is necessary for the sport and how you can actually keep yourself fit just practicing fencing.'
No matter what the results are in Columbus, Alvarez says the club is headed in the right direction.
Out of the 6 competitors, there is one set of twins and another brother and sister tandem heading to Columbus.