As the spring 2021 semester begins and more students begin to return to campus, the William & Mary fencing club is also returning to action! Practices started up this past weekend now that most juniors and sophomores have returned to campus, and both sessions of practice were well-attended. While there have been few changes to team protocol regarding social distancing and mask-wearing, team members are grateful to be able to practice at all and hopeful for the gradual return of tournaments and bouting.
The fencing team is still practicing every Friday (4 – 5:30pm) and Saturday (2 – 3:30pm) in the basement of Kaplan Arena. And just like last semester, practices are still 45 minutes long and consisting of only eight people at a time. The members of the team have had plenty of time to get used to this new format and are now taking advantage of the time to improve footwork, stamina, and control. The addition of new practice equipment that the team acquired last semester, like the targets, has also made practice easier and more enjoyable. As well as that, the club has also managed to attract new members since the fall who, despite the limitations placed on practices, are eager to learn more about the fencing and become part of the team.
Ultimately, it is a shame that this update could not be a longer one. Usually the spring would be full of tournaments and travel, and new and old members alike would practice every day to hone their fencing skills. While it is unfortunate that this semester be different, the fencing team is still doing its best to stay as active and close-knit as ever this semester. Small-group social events, bigs and littles, and Zoom calls between current fencers and alumni attempt to fill the gaps left by COVID-19. It is yet another strange semester coming off the heels of a very strange year, but we will do what we can to preserve William & Mary’s fencing community!