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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Fencing seeks NCAA recognition

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As the UA fencing club grows in size and wins in various competitions, its members continue to push for NCAA recognition.

Despite Wildcat Fencing’s growth and developing skills, the club is still in limbo about being recognized as a sanctioned team by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Jay Fowler, a junior majoring in business economics, philosophy, and management information systems and the club’s founder, said he is pushing forward and hopes for the NCAA’s consideration.

Fowler and three other original members formed the club two years ago. Since then, the club has doubled in size each semester.

“It’s such an interesting sport that people don’t think they can actually do,” said Kaitlyn Fowler, a sophomore studying neuroscience and speech, language and hearing sciences.

Kaitlyn Fowler, an original member, was elected the club’s armorer last spring, meaning she is in charge of all of the club’s equipment.

“It’s a competitive sport, but there’s a huge sense of camaraderie between everyone,” said Salika Dunatunga, a sophomore majoring in computer science and molecular and cellular biology.

Wildcat Fencing is open to experts and novices alike. Mondays and Wednesdays are spent teaching warm-ups and drills, while Friday is an open fencing day where members can take part in practice duels.
“They do teach the basics very well,” she said.

Dunatunga has been fencing since childhood, and said she was impressed with how patient the more experienced fencers are when mentoring the members who have never held a sword before.

“It’s not as dangerous as it looks,” said Colin Roberts, an economics junior.

Roberts is Wildcat Fencing’s treasurer, and is responsible for collecting the $40 fee each member must pay every semester, which goes to buying the large amount of equipment required for competitive fencing.

In the past year, the fencing club participated in their first tournament at Arizona State University, where the club ranked in second place. It also sent three of its members to compete in Junior Olympic Fencing.

“More people die playing golf rather than fencing every year,” said Jay Fowler. Fowler said he guarantees that the fencing club is for any student seeking some safe, heart-pounding adrenaline that can’t be found anywhere else on campus.

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