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Activity Focus: Fencing

Want to know more about the activities used in our residentials? This time we are turning our attention to something a bit different – the Olympic art of fencing!

This ancient sport is always popular as one of our school residential trip activities; after all, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to be a swashbuckling hero!

So what can participants expect from being introduced to fencing as part of their COGO Primary Residential? After a full safety briefing, those taking part will be taught all the basic techniques and principles of fencing and become familiar with the key equipment. As their confidence grows, participants will be able to refine their new skills and compete in friendly tournaments. Ready? On guard!

A Brief History of Fencing
The history of fencing harks back to ancient Egypt and Rome, evolving over thousands years to become the fast, elegant sport that it is today. In fact, carvings depicting swordplay were found in a temple near Luxor, Egypt and are thought to date from around 1190 BC.

From the 16th to the 17th centuries, sword duels were common and could be bloody and sometimes even fatal! However you will be glad to know that innovations in the 18th century led to the popularity of fencing as a safe and highly disciplined sport. These developments included the wire-mesh mask and the “foil”, a weapon with a flattened tip. Fencing was first included in the Olympics in the Athens games of 1896, and remains on the Olympic programme to this day.

Key Equipment
Essential to competing in any sport, is getting to grips with the equipment and key terms! To give you a head start we’ve compiled a list that might come in handy for competing in this school residential trip activity. 

BLADE | the hitting part of the sword from the guard to the point
CHEST PROTECTOR | used to protect the chest area
EPEE | a sword similar in length to a foil but heavier, with a larger guard and stiffer blade
FOIL | a sword with a flexible rectangular bade
GRIP | the handle of a sword, also called the “hilt”
GLOVES & GAUNTLET | to protect the hands and lower arm area
GUARD | the part of a sword between the blade and handle that protects the duelling hand
MASK | to protect the face
PISTE | the field of play where a fencing bout takes place, also called a “strip”
POINT | the end of the blade, which must touch the opponent’s target area to score a point
RAPIER | a sword with a long, slender blade and ornate guard
SABRE | a modern version of the cavalry sword, similar in length and weight to the foil

Learning outcomes
It is important that all pupils visiting our centres have a fun and memorable experience, but we are equally focused on the learning outcomes they take away from the school residential trip activities that they participate in, which can be applied in their every day lives.

Fencing encourages:

SAFETY - The ability to follow safety precautions and assess risk

SKILL SELECTION - The ability to select skills and tactics required

UNDERSTANDING - An understanding of scoring and refereeing

SELF-EVALUATION - Self-evaluation of performance and identifying areas of improvement

TEAM WORK - Teamwork and peer support 

Fencing is a just one of the school residential trip activities that are available on our huge range of trips. From Archery to Zorbing  to Zip-Wires, we have it all! To find out more about our trips or specific residential trip activities, download our brochure or make an enquiry.