Finally,the wait is over for fencers from Punjab who until this time were training without qualified coaches. However,keeping in mind the growing popularity of the game and the players reaping in a rich haul of medals,the State government has appointed two coaches for the fencers. The vacancies for the post were announced just recently. Till now,the players had been dependent on private coaches or on the fencing associations to arrange coaches for them.
The announcement was made at the State-level Open Punjab fencing championship,that began at Mukstar from Friday in which 350 players from across the state are taking part.
Narinder Singh,office secretary of the state fencing association said,”Last year also,an advertisement was put for one vacant post,but it could not be filled due to some reasons. Our players- Varinder,Narottam,Deepinder Singh,Ruchika Trikha,Satish Ganayak and many more,are taking part in this competition and they have brought laurels to the country at national as well as international level.”
The competition is being held in three categories: Sabre,Foil and Epee in the Under 14,-17 and -20 age categories.
Varinder,16,a student of Class X who belongs to Gurdaspur,reached the final in the team event along with his friends. “I hope to do well and win a medal here,” he shared.
Jagpreet Singh,general secretary of Muktsar Fencing Association,however,said,”The costume and kit including the swords,cost a player around Rs 40,000 at one go. So,not many players come forward keeping the expense in mind. However,our Association has provided swords and kits to all those who cannot afford to buy them. The players can practice with this equipment without spending even a single penny.”
Fencing was formally introduced in Punjab almost a decade ago and since then players from the State has returned to the country with many medals from international events. “Punjabis by nature have great affinity for swords. So,it’s easy to train them,” shared Jagpreet Singh,whose son Jashanpreet is also a national player and is taking part in the competition in the Under-17 category.