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Belleville fencing club producing champions

Loyalist Fencing Club [1]

BELLEVILLE – Rob McFadden (at right, in black), demonstrates fencing skills under the watchful eyes of his students at the Loyalist Fencing Club. Photo by Buckley Smith, QNet News

By Buckley Smith [2]

BELLEVILLE – Two local fencers are now ranked in the Top 10 in the country.

Fencing 2 [3]

BELLEVILLE – Rob McFadden, who coaches the Loyalist Fencing Club, takes a breather during practice. Photo by Buckley Smith, QNet News

Rob McFadden and Christine Pfeiffer, both members of Belleville’s Loyalist Fencing Club [4], each took home a medal at this past weekend’s Newmarket Challenge Tournament.

McFadden, who is now ranked third in his class nationally by the Canadian Fencing Federation [5], took home the bronze medal in men’s sabre. Pfeiffer, ranked ninth in Canada in her class, took home the bronze for mixed competition.

The sport of fencing involves two people each trying to strike each other with their sword. There are three weapon classifications: foil, sabre and épée. With each weapon comes a slightly different style of combat.

“The thing I love about fencing is that’s it’s a really complex sport that requires explosive strength and speed,” McFadden said. “But there’s also a real mental aspect to the game as well.

McFadden runs and coaches the Loyalist Fencing Club.

McFadden said he started the club after moving back to his native Belleville from Ottawa to find “no available fencing in the area.” The club is now in its fifth season, and has over 50 members ranging in age from 10 to 60. Each member gravitates to the sport for a different reason, McFadden said.

Fencing 3 [6]

BELLEVILLE – Christine Pfeiffer and another member of the Loyalist Fencing Club practise their skills. Photo by Buckley Smith, QNet News

“Some are here for the social aspect of the club and the sport. The rules of fencing really demand a level of respect for your opponent. So it’s a very respectful environment. And some people really love that piece of the sport. Some people are here to improve their physical fitness. Some people are here for the competitive nature of the sport. It’s a one-on-one combat, and some people love that challenge of outwitting and outperforming their opponent.”

The club holds its practices at Sir John A. Mcdonald Public School in Belleville, with classes running on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

If the sport doesn’t sound fun yet, McFadden had one last thing to say: “What other sport do you get to hit someone with a big piece of steel and not get in trouble for it?”

Here is a video report on Christine Pfeiffer by LaShaina Blair-White [7] of QNet News.