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Brianna Bawayan: “There is much more to fencing than just theatrically swinging the blade”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Stony Brook chapter.

Name: Brianna Bawayan

Year: Senior

Major: Health Science

Hometown: Bronx, New York

What made you choose fencing over other sports and eventually take the treasurer position of the fencing club?

Brianna: “Fencing seemed interesting and unique. It was something that my high school offered, and I thought that I would give it a try after being encouraged by my high school coach. I really enjoyed my first practice and decided to stick with it.”

What are some goals the club has reached within the past year?

Brianna: “One goal would be hosting our own tournament. Although most of the participants are our own members, we have been able to fence new people, like Adelphi and even alumni. Another goal that we have reached is advertising our club in order to bring attention to the sport and our practices, and we’ve done so lately by having participated in the Wolfieland Carnival.”What are some misconceptions that most people have about fencing?

Brianna: “One of the bigger misconceptions would be that fencing is just like it is portrayed in the movies, like seen in Star Wars or The Parent Trap or even Pirates of the Caribbean. Although that is an interesting interpretation of our sport and piques people’s interest, there is much more to fencing than just theatrically swinging the blade. Footwork and blade work are more structured and defined. “

How has the club evolved over the years?

Brianna: “Over the past few years, I think that the club is taking things more seriously. Our members, especially the competitive roster, are committed to improving and have attended more practices. The captains and E-Board are focused on helping each and every club member by focusing on what each individual needs and what they can do to improve.” 

What are the qualities you’ve acquired/learned through fencing?

Brianna: “Some of the qualities that I acquired through fencing is teamwork, such as doing my best to contribute towards the group but also being able to be relyed on and provide any necessary support. The sport has also taught me endurance and commitment, where you can only improve so long as you come to practices.”

Approximately how many members do you have this year?

Brianna: “In total, I would say that we have around 50 members within our club. 30 to 40 members have attended practices consistently, but we have held other practices to accommodate some students’ busy schedules.”What do you hope for the future of the club?

Brianna: “My personal hopes for the future of the club is that they are able to place in the top three at any one of the tournaments we attend. Our club has some experienced fencers, and I think that bringing home medals or trophies would provide some validation towards their hard work and training. I also hope that our senior members continue to create a welcoming atmosphere for every member of the club.”

What are some upcoming events?

Brianna: “We are looking forward to attending two major tournaments in the spring. The Southern Atlantic Conference, which involves about twelve or so universities located along the East Coast, will be held at the University of William and Mary in Virginia. The other tournament we’ll be attending is the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Club Championships, where we will be competing with over thirty universities, held in Lansing, MI.”

Check out the Stony Brook Fencing Facebook page for more information!

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Sonisha Sanju

Stony Brook

Her Campus Stony Brook Founder and Campus Correspondent Stony Brook University Senior Minnesotan turned New Yorker English Major, Journalism Minor