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The University Star

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The University Star

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The University Star


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Fencing club’s pride grows after COVID-19 recovery

Photo Courtesy of Texas State fencing
Texas State fencing club president Tim Grimshaw duels a UTSA opponent, Oct. 23, 2021, at Belmont Hall in Austin, Texas.

In 2019, COVID-19 cut one of Texas State’s longest-standing clubs down to a record-small size of approximately 15 members.

After winning the championship of the SWIFA in 2022 and another podium finish in 2023, the Texas State Fencing Club aims to dominate its upcoming season and retake possession of the SWIFA title while continuing to display its tight-knit community.

When COVID-19 cut the club’s population down, it was hard to keep things running, senior and former vice president Peter Cu said. However, the rebuilding of the club added a level of pride and is now looked at as a great accomplishment by its members and officers.

“During [COVID-19], we were in a church in Kyle [with] slippery floors,” Cu said. “And we had like five people coming [to practice]… Seeing it come back like this, it’s pretty crazy.”

Since COVID-19, Texas State fencing has been on the rise when it comes to competition and population, current club president Tim Grimshaw said.

“Both my years [here] we’ve gotten in the top three [of SWIFA],” Grimshaw said. “But this year we’re going to get first again. We’re coming in strong.”

Though its mindset is firm on winning, Texas State Fencing’s objective is to showcase its inclusivity by providing a space for its members and those interested in joining to try the sport out before looking past it.

“We don’t force you to pay club dues to actually grab a weapon and compete,” Grimshaw said. “Our thing is ‘Try it before you buy it.’”

Madelyn Metevier, an English junior, said anyone who’s interested should come out and give fencing a try, and that the club exceeded her expectations when she joined it.

“[When I joined], I was really intimidated because there were a lot of people who had been doing it for a long time and I was brand new,” Metevier said. “[The team] encouraged me for months and it was just so heartwarming to have people that are caring about you and pushing you to be better than who you are.”

The club also has a strong support system among its students and alumni.

Grimshaw said when it comes to physical support, the club’s alumni remain involved for decades after graduation and help the team develop their skills. This effort from the alumni creates a sense of longevity for members according to Grimshaw.

“We have a lot of practice support from the alumni,” Grimshaw said. “When I graduate I’m going to keep coming back to help out as long as I can because I’m devoted to this club.”

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