THE British School of Manila recently held the First BSM Fencing Championship at the BSM school gym in Taguig City.
Over 175 fencers from over a dozen schools and clubs from the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia competed in 19 events under individual and team categories for all three fencing weapons: Foil, Épée and Sabre.
“It was wonderful to see the BSM Sports Hall transformed into a fencing arena with so many competitors from the region in attendance,” said Simon Mann, Head of The British School Manila. “The standard of competition was reflective of the number of clubs involved and was a real step-up for our team. We place a great value on the positive impact that sports and activities have on young people.”
The BSM Fencing Club was founded in 2008 as an after-school activity with only a few students who trained once a week. Since then, fencing at BSM has grown into a full-fledged club that competes in local and international meets. The latest tournament was as a response to the enthusiasm of the club’s members and supporters. It is BSM’s way of promoting fencing in the country.
“It gives the nascent sport of fencing a much needed boost to further establish the sport as one of the possible leading choices for many aspiring Filipinos,” observed Dheeraj Bahukhandi, a father of three BSM Fencing Club members.
The foreign participants and their parents recognized the efforts made by the school and the club. Joe Chin, father of Julian and Jason Chin from Blade Fencing Club of Kuala Lumpur who competed in the Under 13 and Under 17 sabre and foil, commented on Facebook, “It was a nicely-ran event. Salute to the organizers and volunteering parents of BSM!”
The First BSM Fencing Championship also attracted other fencers who cheered for their favorite players and teams. One of those in the audience was Juliana Gomez, daughter of actor/sportsman Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez. Juliana, who is a trained and active fencer said, “Fencing is a great sport and a wonderful outlet for children and adults to express themselves in a fun yet competitive way. I’m glad that The British School of Manila organized this to help uplift the sport in our country and show our international guests that we can host such events.”
The tournament turned out to be a true family event. Jennifer Verlini, mother of 11-year old BSM student Mario who won third place in the Under 13 Beginners Foil said: “The competition was a fantastic experience for our whole family. The organizers ensured a memorable day for the competitors and the supporters.”
With a total of over 560 participants and spectators, Sally Arambulo, Administration Head of the Philippine Fencing Association and tournament director, affirmed, “The British School of Manila’s First Fencing Championship is one of the most attended age-group competitions held in the country this year… I can say that almost everyone enjoyed and felt at home.”
Because of the good outcome, BSM’s fencing coach Arvin Baccay said the club plans to make the BSM Fencing Championship a yearly competition.
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