The sharp end of fun and competition

Members of the Salle Angelo Fencing Club duel at Heyward Point during the club’s opening day last month. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Members of the Salle Angelo Fencing Club duel at Heyward Point during the club’s opening day last month. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Social, fun and competitive are three ways to describe the Salle Angelo Fencing Club.

The club was formed in 2005 by Dunedin men Tony Williams and the late Ted Nye, after they had mostly given up formal competitions but still wanted to take part in the sport.

Williams said the club met weekly and although it was social, members were still competitive.

‘‘The fencing is highly competitive but then we forget to keep score,’’ he said.

‘‘We get together and fence for the fun of fencing.’’

Members fence with three weapons — the foil, sabre and epee — but mainly concentrate on the foil and sabre.

‘‘We follow rules from the 1950s and decide our bouts with a jury of four corner judges, a president and much debate.’’

After their duels, club members often go out for lunch or get together for dinner.

The club has about 10 members, ranging in age from 20 years old to 80.

Some began their fencing careers in the modern ‘‘olympic’’ school, some began with Salle Angelo, while others are new to the discipline and became involved through other sports.

‘‘But we all enjoy the chance to exercise our skills and our bodies with an eccentric group of like-minded people.

‘‘We call ourselves Salle Angelo because among our members we are honoured to have as members Maurie and Giovanni Angelo, the direct descendants of the great fencing master Domenico Angelo, whose 300th birthday we celebrated last year with dinner and a tournament.’’

Williams has been fencing for about 50 years and is a former South Island champion.

When he is not fencing, he enjoys coaching others and holds lessons for people interested in taking up the sport.

★ To join the club, contact Tony Williams on 021 439 901 or email anthonym.will@gmail.com.

JESSICA.WILSON@thestar.co.nz 

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