`Engarde’ on campus

Rob Atha and Rommel Ventocilla fencing while coach Olivero looks on.


Staff Writer

Rob Atha, the freshman captain of the Fencing Club, has recently won two silver medals in two separate tournaments held in Maryland. Two years ago, Atha began taking lessons from CCC fencing coach Bill Olivero. Since then, Atha has transformed into an elite fencer. He is a member of the USA Fencing Association and is currently ranked nationally with a “D” ranking (on a scale from A-E). This ranking allows Atha to be eligible for the Olympics.

In fencing, there are three different weapons which each has their own set of rules. The three weapons are Foil, Sabre, and Epee. Foil is a light weapon that allows hits to the torso but not the arms. Only the tip of the sword can score a point, and only one fencer can score a point at a time. If both fencers land hits simultaneously, the fencer that attacked first is awarded the point. This principle is referred to as right of way.

Sabre is also a light weapon but allows for hits from the side of the blade as well as the tip. Additionally, all areas of the torso can be hit, aside from the hands. Right of way also applies to Sabre. Epee is the third weapon, and it is a heavy sword that can only score using the tip. Any part of the body can be hit to score a point, and right of way does not apply; both fencers can score simultaneously.

Atha fences Epee, and sophomore fencer Rommel Ventocilla fences Foil. Ventocilla got his start as a fencer by coming out to the club and has been fencing for a little more than a year. “Fencing is fast paced, and mentally and physically challenging,” said Ventocilla. “It’s a thrill”, added Atha. “It’s a good sport that you can participate in forever, like tennis and golf. There are tournaments all over the world. It’s a good way of meeting people “, said Coach Olivero.

Want to find out more about fencing? Meetings are held every Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the gym and are open to men and women. Contact Coach Olivero at wolivero@cccnj.edu or 856-691-800 ext. 266. Private lessons are also available with Coach Olivero.


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