Fencing


Overview

Fencing is run over summer and winter at Bishops with a number of important ranking competitions that fencers need to participate in, if they want to achieve the rankings to be eligible for national team selection.
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For the sports fencers, there are local Western Cape competitions over weekends. The schools league was reintroduced in 2019.

Over the years, the club has toured to Poland and Germany to train at internationally acknowledged fencing schools and the club enjoys the support of the wider fencing community as the premier fencing school in South Africa.

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Vision

Bishops is one of the leading schools in South Africa as far as sport is concerned and our reputation for sporting excellence is world-wide. In keeping with the ethos of our school, we believe that sport plays a vital role in the development of young men. In particular, we believe that participation in a team sport enhances the educational experience. To this end, it is a school rule that all boys must play an official school sport during both summer and winter terms.

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History

Fencing at Bishops has quite a history. Fencing started as a sport, sometime in 1936 and even including a year outdoors in 1986.

In the early years, numbers fluctuated due to the annual exodus of seniors. Another problem was described as the battle of getting the juniors to realize that by joining the club they were not transformed into the musketeers or Errol Flynn! The first OD match was in 1951, the purchase of new electrical equipment for scoring in 1985 and membership by Rustenburg girls in 1987! The golden years commenced when fencing moved to the Mallet Centre in the 80s and club spirit soared. Fencing was introduced at the prep in 1992 by Ken Wilson.

Noticeable fencers along the way are JRL Forsyth who fenced for Australia and in 1993 Grant Reid was one of the first fencers who fenced epee for SA in the Jr World Champs while still at school. Recent history includes a number of Bishops school boys who have attained South African colours and fenced in African World Championships and the Junior and Senior World Championships. This includes

  1. James Atkins, 2008 Junior Worlds, 2012 Senior Worlds Championships.
  2. Robert McGregor, 2010(Jr Africa Champs) 2011 and 2012 and 2013 (Jr Worlds and Commonwealth Fencing Games 2012) Junior African Champs 2014 and Junior World Champs 2014
  3. Landon McClure 2012 (Jr Worlds, Commonwealth Fencing Games) 2013 African Senior Championships.
  4. Alex Collings 2011 and 2013 ( Jr African Champs, Jr worlds), 2014 Junior African Champs.
  5. Sam Wolski 2013 ( Jr worlds), 2014 Junior African Champs.
  6. Ethan Ellis 2020 (South African Colours in Sabre)

Facilities & Coaching

Fencing enjoys an equipped armoury with foil and epee weapons, and electronic scoring equipment for practice and competition.

Training takes place in Summer (Term 1 and 4) on a Tuesday from 15h30-17h00 in the Old Gym, and on Fridays from 14h00-15h30 in the Mallett Centre. In Winter (Term 2 and 3), training takes place in the Mallet Centre on a Tuesday and a Friday at the times advertised above. The Club coaches are Mr Athi Vuntu and Mr Robert McGregor. The coaching programme covers all weapons and includes strength and conditioning sessions on Friday afternoons, in addition to the weapons practice and individual lessons during the week.