Blind fencing…?!

The Club recently had an enquiry from a lady called Claire who asked about coming to a taster session, which is not that unusual. But what made this enquiry stand out is that Claire is severely visually impaired.

This was a first for us and so resulted in some scratched heads around the committee as to how this could possibly work. But after a conversation with Coach Andy, we invited Claire along for a chat to see how we could facilitate her request.

A few weeks ago Claire came to the club and was shown around by JD & Simon. First we had to establish just how much Claire could actually see. After this we showed her all the kit that would be needed & also pointed out the possible hazards that she might encounter (eg wires and spools / scoring boxes on the floor)

We then introduced her to Coach Andy who had researched blind fencing & discovered that there is a well established set up in America & how it works. As it turns out blind fencing is all done by blade contact & using the different sounds that different parts of the blade makes to establish distance & parry-ripostes.

Claire tried out a mask, glove & foil to see how she felt about it – and she took to it like a duck to water. It is fair to say that if she has a few one to one lessons with Andy we think that Claire could be challenging us all on the piste once we have donned a blindfold to even the score.

We are looking forward to having Claire back in the coming weeks.