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En garde: fencers off to the Games

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Amanda Bone’s skills with a fencer’s foil has earned her a trip out east this summer.

Bone is one of two female fencers going to the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que. from August 10-18.

The Charleswood resident will also be accompanied by two male fencers to Quebec.

Bone started fencing in September of 2011. Back then, she had been playing Premier level soccer. During one of her games, a teammate’s father mentioned to his wife that Bone would be a great fencer because she was strong, tall, and intelligent. His wife then mentioned this conversation to Bone’s mother, Tracey.

"That’s interesting, because she had taken a U of M mini-camp about fencing and she said she was always interested in it," Tracey said. "So she went out and the rest is history."

In fencing, the players hook up their electrical equipment to the scoring unit to keep track of points.

"You usually move forward or step back and wait for an opportunity to figure out what their fencing style is, so you can find something that works against them and do your best to score without getting hit," Bone explained.

Bone is a foilist, meaning the foil is her preferred fencing weapon. In fencing, there are three types of weapons: the foil, the sabre, and the épée.

"Foil is more of a jab forward (weapon)," Tracey said. "With one of the other weapons, you can hit on other parts of the body. But with foil, you stab at the vest. If my foil connects with your vest, I get a point."

Once Bone began to fence, she eventually stopped playing soccer.

"I feel like there would be a lot more opportunities for me with fencing," Bone said. "In fencing, you can continue well beyond age 18, so I think that was part of it."

Bone also enjoyed learning a sport in which she was able to explore her individual talent.

"It was kind of nice to just rely on my own abilities instead of having a team," Bone said. "It’s a different kind of pressure, but that’s kind of fun."

While Bone had some natural ability in fencing, she said she had a lot to learn, but she quickly fell in love with the sport.

"It was a whole bunch of new movements that I wasn’t used to, especially with the rules and the point-scoring system," Bone said.

"It’s definitely an adrenaline rush," Bone added. "There are swords involved. It’s exciting and it makes me nervous but also excited at the same time."

Bone hopes fencing will continue to be a part of her life.

"I would definitely like to continue fencing for as long as I can. Hopefully I’ll continue with it and continue improving and competing and then maybe one day if I get really good, I’ll start coaching."

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