• Join the Interschool Fencing Programme
    Join the Interschool Fencing Programme
    Members of the Interschool Fencing Program enjoy lots of benefits...
  • Fencing as part of a Wellbeing Syllabus
    Fencing as part of a Wellbeing Syllabus
    The skills learned contribute to the fencers’ mental and physical wellbeing...
  • The Annual Interschool Cup
    The Annual Interschool Cup
    In association with Fencing Ireland participating schools rotate the hosting of the annual national Interschool Fencing Cup competition...
  • Example Beginners’ Syllabus
    Example Beginners’ Syllabus
    Courses can be customised to ft the time available in a term. Your coach will agree a syllabus suitable for the age of the participants, the time available and any specific objectives the school has...
  • Meet our Coaches
    Meet our Coaches
    We have Coaches based in Dublin and Munster...

Open for Sponsorship!

If your organisation would like to sponsor the Interschool Fencing Programme please contact us!

Benefits of Membership

The Irish Interschool Fencing Programme facilitates participating schools to fence each other individually or as part of the annual Interschools Cup. There are multiple benefits for schools who participate in the Programme:

• Sports training in a new discipline with a range of physical and mental wellbeing benefts
• Comprise part of a schools’ Junior Cycle Wellbeing programme
• Providing a sporting outlet for students who don’t ft in the traditional team sports
• An annual opportunity for students to meet and compete against fencers from other schools in the Interschool Cup.
• All lesson plans delivered by our affiliated Coaches.
• Access to fencing summer camps in Europe facilitated by Fencing Ireland.

Participants promote fencing in their schools, providing lessons in school time that are delivered by Fencing Ireland affiliated coaches. For a list of participating schools see Interschool Participants.

First Year Courses

A beginner’s course on fencing in the foil discipline provides participants with all the skills required to start competitive fencing and is delivered through weekly lessons over a term. See the example syllabus for typical lesson plans. A double class is required to allow time for warm up, skills instruction and supervised bouts.

By introducing fencing to all first years, over a period everyone in the school will have the opportunity to fence and first year students are also an ideal age to start fencing.

To speed up adoption within a school a course can also be provided to Transition Year students

Transition Year Courses

Transition year provides students with new opportunities for learning and personal development. Offering a fencing course to transition year students is a great way to enhance participation in sport at this key age.

The Interschool Fencing Programme also meets many of the objectives of Gaisce Awards:

• Learning a new Skill
• Getting Active
• Meeting New Friends and having an Adventure

The Fencing Ireland Achievement Awards scheme provides for external assessment in fencing proficiency and is available on the completion of the course.

After students complete the beginners course in fencing, schools can continue to offer fencing tuition through participation in the programme. Weekly lessons for students from all years who wish to continue fencing can be facilitated by the fencing coach. Students improve their fencing through a mixture of technical tuition and fencing experience. Weekly lessons provide a supervised time for fencers to spar with one another as well as individual lessons from the coach in more advanced fencing skills.


Including Fencing within a Wellbeing Syllabus

Wellbeing is a new area of learning in the junior cycle. The Wellbeing programme commenced in 2017 with 300 hours of timetabled learning in Wellbeing over the three years. This will build up to 400 hours by 2020 as the new junior cycle is implemented in schools. For more information see http://www.juniorcycle.ie/Curriculum/Wellbeing.

The wellbeing programme teaches students the knowledge, attitudes and skills to enable them to protect and promote their own wellbeing and that of others. Fencing can be included as part of a schools’ wellbeing syllabus since the skills learned while fencing contribute to a fencers’ mental and physical wellbeing:

• Physical Speed and Stamina
• Coordination and Technical Discipline
• Strategic Thinking – Problem Solving at Lightning Speeds
• Self Confidence and Mental Resilience

Fencing is a sport where size or strength doesn’t matter and individuals can shine. It’s a game of chess played at lightning speed where the fastest, neatest, most tactically aware player will win. When fencers step onto the strip, nothing else matters – all problems and worries melt away as they concentrate on their opponent.


The Interschool Cup

In association with Fencing Ireland participating schools rotate the hosting of the annual national Interschool Fencing Cup competition.

The Interschool Cup Competition is an excellent introduction to competitive fencing. Participants compete for their school in teams of three. Fencing as part of a team helps develop an individual’s competitive skills through encouragement and support from their teammates.

There are also frequent fencing competitions open to school children in Ireland, should students wish to compete at weekends. Fencing Ireland also provides a national programme of advanced tuition for high potential youth fencers called Trailblazers.


Example Beginners’ Syllabus

For the first 15 minutes students warm up and stretch. Drills and games that develop footwork are followed by dressing in the protective clothing; plastrons, jackets, gloves and masks. Blade work skills are demonstrated to the group who then practise the technique under the tuition of the fencing coach. A double class is recommended to provide enough time.

Students will spar with each other from the first week, and learn as a group to improve their defences as their offensive capabilities develop. A class competition at the end of the term gets students familiar with the structure of competitive fencing.

Courses can be customised to ft the time available in a term. Your coach will agree a syllabus suitable for the age of the participants, the time available and any specific objectives the school has. This is an example of content delivered over 10 weeks for 11/12 year old children, using plastic weapons for the first 2 weeks:

Week Lesson Plan Plastic Steel
1 Adopt an on-guard position – feet and hand
Footwork – advance and retire
Grip – hold a foil correctly
Lunge from on-guard position
Lateral parries
Supervised bout
Yes
2 Step-lunge
Circular parry and direct riposte
Etiquette – demonstrate proper salute, handshake at the end of a bout
Supervised bout
Yes
3 Full Equipment – glove, plastron, jacket, chest protector, steel foil
Understand the layout of a piste
Time and phrasing of attacks in foil – the ‘right of way’
Supervised bout
Yes
4 Refne footwork – varying step length and step back lunge
Indirect (Disengage) attacks from sixte
Supervised bout
5 Cut-over attack
Parry / Riposte distance training
Supervised bout
Yes
6 Low line attacks
Semi circular parries – octave and septime
Supervised bout
Yes
7 Doublé attack and one-two attack
Successive parries
Footwork – reprise of attack and balestra-lunge
Supervised bout
Yes
8 Introduction to electronics: lame, body wire and electric weapons
Tactics: ‘Chess at Lightning Speed’
Supervised bout – with electrics
Yes
9 Mini tournament – Poules Yes
10 Mini tournament – DE Yes

Courses can be shortened too. This is an example of content delivered over 6 weeks to Transition Year students:

Week Lesson Plan Plastic Steel
1 Full Equipment – glove, plastron, jacket, chest protector, steel foil
Adopt an on-guard position – feet and hand
Footwork – advance and retire
Grip – hold a foil correctly
Lunge from on-guard position
Lateral parries
Supervised bout
Yes
2 Step-lunge
Circular parry and direct riposte
Right of Way
Etiquette – demonstrate proper salute, handshake at the end of a bout
Supervised bout
Yes
3 Beat and Pressure Preparations of Attacks
Cut-over attack
Supervised bout
Yes
4 Low line attacks
Semi circular parries – octave and septime
Supervised bout
Yes
5 Pres-de-fer Attacks
Seeding Parries
Supervised bout
Yes
6 Feint Disengage Attacks
Observation and Tactics
Supervised bout
Yes

Participating Coaches

Patrick Dight, Munster Blades Fencing Club

Coach Patrick Dight has been fencing for 35 years and has represented Ireland internationally in foil and sabre disciplines and at both senior and veteran level.
He has been providing professional fencing services in Ireland since 2014. 
For more information contact patrick@munsterblades.ie or download Irish Interschool Fencing Programme Email PD.

Olga Velma, Pembroke Fencing Club, Dublin

Coach Olga Velma has been involved in fencing for almost 28 years and has trained under several National Team and Olympic coaches.
Olga specialises in developing the sport for school children and students and is a respected fencing master in Europe.
Personally she has had many remarkable results being repeated champion and medal winner of the Estonian Epee Championships in junior and senior fencing.
For more information contact olgavelma@gmail.com or download Irish Interschool Fencing Programme Email OV