The first St. Bernard’s fencing class was in 1924. The 1925 budget describes fencing as an “exceptional demonstration of a sport which is pre-eminently delightful in its dignity, its history, and its picturesqueness.”
St. Bernard’s boys begin basic fencing in second grade, as part of the physical education program. Beginning in Grade V, they can join the fencing team which practices after school and competes against other schools. The St. B’s team competes in all three forms of the sport: foil, sabre, and epee. Each weapon has its own technique and scoring area.
This year, the school has a new fencing coach, Paul Yuen. Mr. Yuen is also the head fencing coach for the varsity women’s team at the City College of New York, where he also captained the men’s team as an undergraduate. In addition to coaching, Mr. Yuen officiates fencing tournaments throughout New York.
The fencing team has three tournaments in February, starting with a February 5 trip to Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY. The Hackley team will come to St. Bernard’s on February 10, and finally we will host Horace Mann on February 12. A few weeks ago, St. Bernard’s made an impressive fencing debut against Riverdale.
Please consider popping into the Small Gym on February 10 and 12 to watching a bout or two of a fencing match. You will not be disappointed. And let us all welcome Coach Yuen to the St. Bernard’s community.