“Going through this competition as Dominica’s first fencing team was a great experience…although unsuccessful in the tournament we did not go down without a fight…we impressed the team and coaches there with our teamwork…. they were very happy that there is a new fencing team on the map and that’s Dominica.”
These were the words of Dominican fencer Linvor Ambo, following his trip to the Central American and Caribbean Senior Qualifiers in Puerto Rico, which is part of the Central American Caribbean games being held in Colombia in 2018.
Before speaking to Ambo I had no idea that the Dominica Fencing Society was competing internationally. But after some research I was able to interview those members who attended the tournament on April 30th making history, as the first male senior Épée fencing team from Dominica and the English speaking Caribbean.
Épée, according to Wikipedia, “is the largest and heaviest of the three weapons used in sport fencing. Épée is French for “sword”.”
Under the guidance of Coach Woodrow Lawrence, who is the President of the Dominica Fencing Association, the team consisted of Cody Morris (team captain), Marlon Marie (team manager), and Linvor Ambo. It’s interesting to note that Ambo has been training for seven months Marie for four months and Morris four years.
Team manager Marlon Marie, explained that initially the team was supposed to consist of four fencers to compete in the team competition, however in a stroke of bad luck two fencers were injured just weeks before the competition.
The Dominican team who were the underdogs, submitted two fencers who participated in the individual rounds. Thankfully one additional fencer was cleared who flew in for the team events.
While every other team participated with four members the Dominican team persevered with a three-man team, first facing the hometown team of Puerto Rico followed by Barbados.
“The other competitors we went up again were world class athletes…Olympians…who would have had decades of experience so its very interesting to note that we were this competitive.” said Marie.
Last year Dominica Dominica made its first appearance at a Regional and International Fencing Championship when Cody Morris entered the prestigious tournament held in Panama from June 20-26th featuring in the Epee discipline and becoming the first fencer to ever compete for Dominica.
The DFA has a vision of being respected as a leading Sports Organization in Dominica, demonstrating Innovation, Excellence and Good Governance. Despite the fact that due to a lack of a proper training ground the team practices relentlessly at Al dive in Loubiere.
“Based on the natural skills and abilities that we have and the passion and drive we were able to do something…we beat some fencers who would be ranked very high in the world of fencing.” stated Marie who emerged as Dominica’s only qualifier for the CAC games 2018 to be held in Colombia.
He said it is important that the team partakes in competitions and compete with the other international fencers who have had much more opportunities than them.
Dominica currently boasts of a core of young fencers in Dominica ranging from ages 10-19.
Up next for the fencers will be the annual Pan American Games in June where they hope to participate with a team of four male fencers and two females.
The DFA is also calling for corporate and regional sponsors.
The Dominica Fencing Association is an Affiliated Member of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), the Pan American Fencing Confederation (CPE), the Commonwealth Fencing Federation (CFF), and the Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC).