Fencing has been a part of Roswell High School for fifteen years, yet it is often left in the dust by students. “People don’t really give it as much notice and attention as it deserves,” said senior Salma Repole, who is co-captain of the fencing team.
Fencing teams are not very common in high schools. “So far out of Georgia, only 21 of them have it,” explained Repole. This gives students at Roswell High School an opportunity to participate in a sport most schools do not offer.
“When I came to Roswell High School and I saw they had a fencing team, I was the first to sign up. I was so excited that finally after ten years I would be able to do it. It has stuck with me ever since,” said Repole, who has wanted to fence since she was six.
Surprisingly, the GHSA considers fencing a club, not a sport. Repole disagrees.
“Honestly, we train just as hard as everyone else. It’s not like we are chilling, or messing around during practices. We compete, we medal, we have championships,” explained Repole.
Repole is very excited and optimistic for this season, as they welcome many new people to the team. “They are doing awesome actually! One of the new girls is so good already for someone just starting this year with no prior fencing experience,” said Repole enthusiastically.
Repole describes fencing as “mental and physical chess.” Strategy in fencing is key.
“You have to know your opponent like read them. You have to defeat them,” states Repole.
Fencing is welcoming for anyone, even people with no experience.
“Fencing is a lot of etiquette so basically don’t be mean, treat everyone with respect, and you are golden,” said Repole.
Advice for beginner fencers from the co-captain is: “Just try your best and have fun. Literally, fencing is all about having fun.”