Following FI’s well-attended Pre-Nationals training weekend, lead foil coach Filippo Triccoli (CS Jesi) has forwarded his report:
I was a guest of the Irish Fencing Federation from 13/04 to 16/04. The actual days of work were Saturday 14 and Sunday 15. The working time (9.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m.) was generally respected by the athletes. The working atmosphere was good and fresh and the organizers Philip Lee, Head of the Irish Fencing Federation and Andrei Radu, coach of Brian Boru FC) were very kind.
The workouts were held in St. Conleth’s College gym, Ballsbridge, Dublin. The gym was barely sufficient due to the unexpected high number of fencers come from all over Ireland.
The foilist were 26 and everybody had the same treatment: 2 private lessons of 15 minutes each and general advises during the free matches. All the athletes showed a great desire to be there and practice fencing. The commitment was also very high.
However, I found some generalized mistakes on technique and match management. For example, they all
held the fist in third-fourth position while they should held it in second-third position because circles and parries are easier to make.
In addition, footwork is very underestimated by all athletes.
In general fencing in Ireland is a new sport. In fact, it has all the problems related to new sports: few people practicing it, few public investments, less audience.
Despite all this problems, the Head of the IFF is very active and committed to spread this sport in all over the country. Also some little results are already coming from Verona and other international competitions.
I think that in 5/6 years, with more investments and more skilled coaches, Ireland could bring out some high level athletes and get some important results in international competitions.