Express news service
SRIKAKULAM: Oil, sword and saber can sound even for a sportsman. But, for the young people of Srikakulam district, who choose a career in fencing, these words are the new attractions.
Fencing is gaining popularity among young people, especially girls, in the district as many of them have won national level tournaments.
Combat sport not only improves self-confidence in girls, but also brings name, fame and employment opportunities to those who excel in the sport. The number of children joining fencing is increasing in the neighborhood.
Fencing is one of the nascent Olympic sports in India. This is traditional fencing, where two competitors fight with rapiers. It improves the speed, anticipation, reflexes, concentration, self-defense, agility, precision and also the mental strength of the individual.
Fencing equipment, foil, Ã©pÃ©e and saber (weapons) and protective equipment such as jacket, breastplate, glove, breeches, mask and specialized aluminum floor are expensive compared to other equipment sportsmen.
Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi, a saber fencer, is the first Indian fencer to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, held in Tokyo this year due to Covid-19.
Fencing was introduced to Srikakulam six years ago and today it has become one of the most sought-after sports in the district.
Children from various corners of the region come to the town hall to learn about fencing. After Taekwondo, several children showed a keen interest in fencing.
Jogipati Vamsi, who was trained at the National Institute of Sports Netaji Subhas in Patiala, led classes under the supervision of the head instructor and vice president of the National Taekwondo Association BSS Prasad Kumar aka Taekwondo Srinu, and the district chairman of the Fencing Association Srikakulam Vaisyaraju Mohan.
At least 80 children are learning fencing in the district and many of them have participated in state and national level competitions. At least 41 children, out of 73, won medals in the recent inter-district sub-junior, junior cadet category for boys and girls held in Kakinada.
Seven of them have been selected for national level competitions and will represent Andhra Pradesh at national level competitions to be held in the coming days. Girls are more numerous than boys not only to join fencing lessons, but also to win medals.
Speaking to TNIE, Bandi Sireesha, 12, said: âI lost my father when I was very young. I joined fencing with the encouragement of my mother. She works as a sanitation worker in the municipality of Srikakulam. I won one silver and two bronze in state competitions and was selected for national level competitions. I am happy to have this opportunity for the first time.
Another fencer, V Jasmine (17) said: âI won a bronze medal in a national level competition and four national level gold medals in the foil category. I have been selected for the national championships again and I am training to win gold at home. I have two models: one is CA Bhavani Devi, who entered the Olympic arena in fencing and the other is Karanam Malleswari. I have the dream of winning a medal at the Olympics and I have no doubts that I will make it happen. ”
Trainer Vamsi said they were getting a good response in the district. âAt least 80 girls and boys are learning sports. Fencing is one of the five modern Olympics that have sports quotas reserved for both education and employment, ” he said.
Fencing will not only teach self-defense techniques, but discipline as well, and will also help maintain good physical and mental health, the coach added. At least 12 students have landed government jobs and many have secured graduate school places under a sports quota in recent years.
“I wish the sportsmen of the district to excel in fencing at the Olympic Games like Karanam Malleswari in weightlifting”, he hoped.