Silversword Fencing Academy:  Top 10 for 2016

A little over a year ago, Silversword Fencing Academy set up its club at Helensburgh Community Centre. At the time, star local fencer and IAS Mercury Tobin Award winner, Courtney Buchanan was about to head off to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in South Africa. Buchanan finished in the top 8 at that event and the club has been producing local fencing stars since then.

The club has just finished its full year of training at Helensburgh and has netted some very impressive end of year results with top 10 finishes in the NSW rankings for club and individual fencers.

Head Coach Dr ArashKarpour said,

“Silversword Fencing Academy  is a new club in this area and so to finish in the top 10 clubs from across NSW is a very solid effort from our young fencers. When you look at the clubs in that top 10 list they tend to be large well established clubs with lots of fencers competing across all age groups and all weapons. At Silversword Academy this year, with the exception of Courtney, we have had a handful of kids competing and in only one weapon. This is a really impressive effort. And of course, club rankings are determined by how well our fencers perform in Grand Prix events so it is pleasing to see all our competitive fencers in the top 10 for their age groups as well. “

Young Daniel McNaughton from Helensburgh is 10 and has been fencing for only 1 year but he is already a seasoned fencing competitor. Daniel credits the club with his success and says he got the fencing bug after he competed in an event as part of a mixed team competition earlier in the year. The Silverswords u11 team scored the bronze medal at that event and McNaughton has been hooked on fencing ever since. Together, he and his fellow u11 team mates, have all succeeded in achieving a top 10 ranking in NSW at u11 age groups.

thumbnail_Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 9.27.44 PMU11 Silversword Fencing Academy  Team wins Bronze at the NSW Team Championships

In the u15 age group, the club also boasts Sarah Mitchell in the top 10 in women’s foil and Jack van Vreumingen in the top 10 for men’s foil.Whilst Buchanan has continued to go from strength to strength at the u17 age group. This year she competed internationally and medalled at the SEAPAC Championships as part of the u20 female foil team. In early December, she will compete at the Open Australian Championships against the best open age group women from across Australia and internationally and she has recently been selected to represent Australia at the Cadet Asian Championships in February next year.

While the club fosters competitive success, it recognises that the elite pathway isn’t what “lights everyone’s fires.We have a number of fencers who are learning to fence with no real intention of competing at an elite level.  Whilst we value competition, our focus is on teaching great technique and exceptional problem solving skills. These are skills kids can take with them as they grow and develop on and off the fencing piste. Fencing has been demonstrated to improve kid’s concentration and problem solving skills as well as being a safe and challenging physical activity” said Dr Karpour.

Perhaps the thing that is most striking about the club however is its sense of fun and friendship. Whilst the athletes work hard, there is a lot of laughter at these training sessions and the older fencers work with younger fencers in a mentoring role too.

Silversword Fencing Academy trains on a Wednesday evening at 6.30pm during school term . Children aged 6 and over can participate. Please contact Dr Karpour on 0401 519 851 or visit their website  for further information. Perhaps you might consider fencing lessons for an unusual Christmas present – you might just uncover the next Australian Champion.

Australian Representative Courtney Buchanan trains with talented local youngster Daniel McNaughton at Silversword Fencing Academy.


Courtney Buchanan training at Silversword Fencing Academy with Head Coach Dr ArashKarpour.

 Silversword Wednesday Night Training at Helensburgh NSW

Wednesday night training at Helensburgh Community Centre


Coach Tanya Buchanan