West Devon Swords recently ran four taster sessions for the OCRA Summer School in Okehampton.
Held in late July and early August, the Summer School offers extra morning tuition in maths and English in the 10-12 age group, with a variety of activities in the afternoons. A session of modern sports sabre rounded out the first and second week programmes.
After a quick warm-up and introduction to fencing, the groups of 10-12 pupils each then got fully kitted up for some rapid lessons and a number of bouts.
So it wasn’t all that pretty or elegant (as sabre goes, it’s not a pretty or elegant weapon even at the top level of competition), but we are pleased to say there were no injuries, no malicious over-hitting and everyone got stuck in to each bout in good spirits.
As pointed out, strength doesn’t matter for sports fencing so much as speed, accuracy and good judgement of timing and distance, so boys and girls were able to compete on equal terms. There was some promising fencing emerging by the end of each session and the rituals of fencing ettiquette for the start and end of bouts added to the sense of doing something special.
We look forward to the next OCRA holiday scheme. RC