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Cruz Bay
Thursday, September 29, 2022


The Blades Fencing Club of St. Thomas/St. John invites anyone interested in fencing — from youths to retirees — to take part in its second annual summer camp, July 13 – 18.
Rudy Volkmann, a former Southeast U.S. sabre champion and the author of widely used books on fencing and equipment repair, will be the camp coach. A fencing instructor for more than three decades, Volkmann has taught theatrical as well as competitive fencing. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, he was a member of the international armourers' squad.
"It's hard to imagine anyone better qualified than Rudy Volkmann to be our camp director," Blades president and founding coach Joyce Bolanos says. "Last year, our first camp was a great success with Gene Gettler as director. When Gene wasn't able to come back this summer, he recommended Rudy, and we are really looking forward to working with him."
The camp will add depth and breadth to the territory's fencing programs, Bolanos said, by providing expert training for experienced young fencers, upgrading the skills of local coaches and attracting newcomers to the sport. Fencers from St. John and St. Croix clubs are expected to participate.
Classes will be held at American Yacht Harbor. Three levels of instruction will be offered. Beginning youths will meet that Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Experienced youths and adults will meet weekdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Coaches' training will take place weekdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The program will conclude with a mini-tournament open to the public.
The camp is open to "experienced, beginning and former fencers, anyone from 8 years of age," Bolanos says, "and it's amazing how many former fencers there are around here." Fencing "is a very safe sport," she notes, "and we will provide the protective gear needed."
Participants can register in advance or in the hour before the first class on July 13. Registration is $50 for each level of classes, with some scholarship assistance available. Those planning to fence should wear soft running-type sneakers with socks, a T-shirt and knee-length cut-offs or other pants that will allow for freedom of movement.
For reservations and further information, call or fax to 777-8708 or 776-4812.

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