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Winter 2024 Sydney Sabre West

Hello fellow Sabreurs and Supporters!

We're looking forward to engaging and training with you all throughout this winter of 2024 - Since June has come around it's been real winter weather with 7C overnight temperatures - which is real fencing weather! But without any further ado see below for the following news and announcements

Welcome to our new coach and fencers

Firstly, a big welcome to our new assistant Coach Gerard Robert and new sabreurs Lucas Selwell and Jay Aoun.

Gerard resides locally and is already providing immense coaching depth to the team. He originally trained under Maestre John Chow at our sister club (aka "The Mothership") - the Sydney Sabre Centre - which was then at Stanmore. He is also quite busy with a lot of other activities packed into the work week - Volleyball, Salsa Dancing, Rock climbing and the list goes on - just ask him next time you see him! And another thing you can ask him is to explain his grand 6-dimensional mathematical equation approach to Fencing - a problem that he hopes to provide a simple, yet elegant solution to within the next decade. All of you will be able to assist him by training with him and by contributing your own individual brand of Chaos theory applied to fencing!

Lucas is also local and still at High School but that hasn't stopped him from earning his freedom in the form of a Driver's License. This means he can drive to training sessions and school - instead of worrying about Bull Sharks as he navigates his way across the Georges River on his stand-up paddle board!

Jay is a "new" local who hails from Detroit USA - the birthplace of Techno. But he says he's not into it. But Gerard and I can see that what he is really into is fencing!

So, a big welcome to you all and may you have many bouts and happy memories to come with us!

Training Times and Locations

A quick reminder for you all of our training times at Sydney Sabre West Revesby YMCA.

Mondays - 06.30PM-8PM

Fencer at Arms Block 1 for adults followed by individual lessons if time permits open to all Adults and juniors alike.

Wednesdays - 06.30PM - 8PM

Fencer at Arms block 2 for juniors followed by club training aka bouting including electric bouting (once we have repaired all equipment - see below)

For those who wish to do more fencing than what we currently offer and are prepared to go further afield we suggest going to the Sydney Sabre Centre at Drummoyne run by Maestre John Chow. The centre is generally open 7 days a week with club training times and courses in the afternoons/evenings on Mondays to Fridays and training and bouting on offer through the weekends ie Saturday and Sunday through the whole day.

To get more details and info have a look here:

If you wish to get in touch with John personally feel free to drop him an email:

Or, better still just drop in and have a bout with them - you'll be most welcome!

Upcoming Events & Dates

Some events and dates for you all to look forward to:

Term 2/3 School holidays - We will be operating at SSW Revesby Monday nights only 6.30PM to 8PM. That will commence on Monday 8th July 2024 through to Monday 15th July 2024. The following week will be back to normal with training re-commencing on both Mondays and Wednesdays ie the week commencing Monday 22nd July 2024.

Sydney Olympic Cup

The NSW Fencing Association - to which we are affiliated, is hosting an Olympic Promotion Event and competition on Sunday 2nd June and Sunday 23rd June. Even though we are still in a developmental phase there maybe someone who is interested in taking part or going into the State Fencing Centre to take a look. If so, please get in touch with us and have a look at the link below:

Revesby YMCA Olympic Showcase

Towards the end of winter, the Revesby YMCA intends to soak up the Paris Olympics atmosphere by having an Open Day/ Olympic Showcase event on/around 22nd August 2024 whereupon all the participating sports at the Y will put on demonstrations to members of the public where they can also come in and try/take part. At this stage the main sports taking place will be Gymnastics, Boxing and us! Once the Y confirms the date and what is required, we'll be putting out a message for those interested to join in. It will mostly involve putting on a demonstration bout and then helping some kids put on the gear to try it out.

Training Camp Term 3/4 School Holidays

The Sydney Sabre Centre and Sydney Sabre West aim to join forces during the Term 3/4 School Holiday break (Late Sept to mid Oct 2024) and put on a short training camp for both school students and adults. The fees paid from those taking part will go straight back into improving the equipment and infrastructure of our facility (re-capitalising). More announcements to come once the finishing touches have been organised.

Grading Event and workshop

During Term 4 this year we also hold our inaugural grading event for all students. The Grading gives students to qualify as a Fencer at Arms. Students who successfully qualify will be presented with a sash and a prize. More details to come. Advanced

Financials and Adjusted Price Points

And now onto the Annual Financial Report. I hereby announce that we are slightly in the red but it's nothing that can't be handled.

Good. Now that we've got that hard bit done time to announce our intent for this coming financial year: The main aim is to increase our rate of participation (ie more people joining us) which will obviously increase our takings at the gate, but we also aim to diversify our pricing and "product" options. This has the joint aim of offering more varied coaching services thus giving us more "depth" in terms of skills and experience but also increasing our income whilst avoiding an outright price hike as much as possible. We also intend to reward loyalty and consistent attendance by offering reduced rates for those who qualify.

So to be more specific:

Mandatory and effective from 1st July 2024

  • Beginners/ Prequalified fencer at arms - both adult and junior: $25 per session

  • Qualified Fencers at arms & pre-qualified Senior Fencers at arms: $15 per session

  • Visitors including any affiliated fencer: $10 (Discretionary - we want to encourage people to visit from other clubs and make them feel welcome)

Training Options: to be phased in

  • One on one tuition/Individual lessons - $40 per lesson (Subject to availability)

  • Dual/two on one/battle pairs session - $20 per session per student (also subject to availability)

  • Training Squad participation - (All qualified combatants) - $10 per session

  • Pricing estimate for training camp participation involving 6 hours per day, skills development, guided bouting and individual lessons: $75-100 per student per day.

Equipment and Infrastructure

Last but definitely not least. We wish to introduce the following:

Pay as you go equipment purchases. We will shortly be announcing that all students once committed and enjoying their fencing to make their own purchase of equipment. This will be imbedded into the fee structure once we have ensured equipment availability. This would intitially be glove, jacket, mask and underplastron as a package. As availability increases we would expand this to include weapons, body wires and lames. The reasons for this as follows:

  • Using your own equipment is more hygenic and more comfortable.

  • More responsibility taken for equipment care as one would own it.

  • Club equipment is able to be set aside exclusively for newcomers and less strain on current stocks.

Electrical Scoring and Wireless systems. We are currently in the process of overhauling our club digital scoring system. We anticipate that once the ground leads and spools are repaired/replaced and students begin using the system again the quality of their fencing will improve to another level. We also envisage making a purchase of several wireless units that will allow us to make better use of the space and be more convenient for fencers. We aim to make this purchase using proceeds from the fencing camp that will we put on over the term 3/4 School holidays.

Well, if you have made it this far - well done!

Keep in mind most of the above is not set in stone and can be adjusted/changed.

All feedback and suggestions are welcome just call, text or email us!

See you at the next Sabre bout!

Tony Watts

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