The 2014 competition year has got off to a busy start with both juniors and seniors in action over the past month. With B grade medals for the seniors and medals for the juniors everyone has been a good start to the year. The highlight so far has been a very successful interstate trip to the ACT for the 3rd annual Tri-State Tournament.


The Victorian tri-states team minus Nathan and Izzy.

 The Tri-State tournament has become a fast favourite with Fioretto kids since it began in 2012. It is a fun and friendly event, and superbly run by the ACTFA. The 'round robin' format is a bit different when you are used to DE rounds, but it does allow for a maximum participation, and every year is has been a fantastic opportunity for our guys to try other weapons from foil. First was an induction to epee and then this year, for the first time, a long awaited introduction to sabre. And not without success, proving once again than a good foundation in 'fencing' carries across to all the weapons we use.

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The morning crew. Fioretto Fencers after the morning session.

The easy going nature of the event does not mean a quiet day on the piste. The fencing was as competitive as ever. So much so that William (VIC) and Joshua (NSW) were interrupted in their bout twice because they had literally 'torn up' the piste with the intensity of their footwork, and their bout had to be put on hold while helpers raced to re-attach the piste more securely to the floor! The Fioretto/Victorian kids showed their mettle just the same, on and off the piste, with as many compliments recieved on their behavior and sportsmanship as on their technique and skill.

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U13 boys foil medal presentation. Peter receives Bronze while Nathan B collected silver in his first Tri-State appearance. William was content to complete a 3 year run of foil gold in ACT, in the last year that he will be able to fence these age groups. 

As coach I was very proud of my whole team. The lesson that "there are only 3 medals'' has paid off, with everyone fencing to their best and not concentrating on their results, meaning that in the end, with amazing results including 4 fencers finshing 1st through 4th, everyone was happy, even the fencers without medals because they had fenced their best and felt good about themselves. That was such a pleasure to see. Nothing makes either Maestro or I happier than seeing our fencers at their best and pushing to be better, simply because they want to be a better fencer. Jarred gets a special note from me at this point for the level of effort and control I saw him applying on the day. The result was that he fenced better than I have ever seen him do, and while he was not able to get a medal he can be as proud as anything of the effort he put in!

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Sean catches up with Sam on and off the piste, here with gold and silver in the U9 foil.

And what can be more important than the friendships created by this special event? After 3 years there is already a sense of excitement to see familiar faces and see how much everyone has grown. A special treat for us this year was catching up with a very special young man, Sam, who started fencing with us and then had to move to Sydney. He was sorely missed when he left but we were happy to hear that his passion for fencing continued in Sydney with a new club, and we were thrilled to see him at the Tri-State event.

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U11 epee medal presentations with Luka and Kassian very happy with their medals.

Of course, we always want to know how well everyone did, and I know the kids are rightly proud of the their achievements (as are we), so now I should give an account of the medal tally. We had 10 fencers go to the ACT this year. 8 of these fencers return with medals, several with multiple medals. Of 8 gold medals awarded, 7 went to Fioretto fencers. We also collected 4 silver and 4 bronze, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd in 3 events. not too shabby guys.

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 Oh to be a fly on the wall! William gives Peter a cheeky smile as they wait for the sabre medals.

Peter dominated the sabre comp in his first ever attempt, denying William gold in all 3 weapons, but there were no hard feelings about it. This goes to show that while fiercely competitive on the piste, respect and friendship rule off the piste! And so it should, meaning our fencers will also help to push each other to grow and respect each others courage and ability no matter what.


Proud coach sports his team's medals (resulting in sore neck!)

Lastly I would like to specially thank all the families from this year's trip. I was proud of the kids but I should also mention how proud I am of our parents. Not only were they there for their kids and supporting everyone in the team, but everywhere I looked I saw them jumping in and helping out where they could. I know ACTFA and the competition organisers were really grateful, and I would like to add my own recognition to this superb effort as well.