National Championships 2013

Saskatchewan’s Leland Guillemin writes about his National Championship experience!

Leland Guillemin

This past weekend I competed at the Canadian Fencing Championships in Gatineau, QC. Senior Men’s Epee was held on May 19th. For me to improve my rankings on the High Performance Program I had to finish 1st or 2nd. I was excited to see if I could achieve this daunting task!

I had a sinus cold that was running its course through me since I had returned from Europe (May 14th) and it was still going strong the day of the competition. I was not concerned with this sickness as all it amounted to was an extra challenge! I figured I wouldn’t have the same speed and endurance that I do on a good, healthy day but I knew I could still work around it.

I did a long slow warm up to prepare myself and by the time pools was announced I felt like I had found my…

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Paris – Bern – The Fencing breakdown

Saskatchewan Fencer Leland Guillemin has a wonderful new blog that chronicles his race for the next Olympics.

Leland Guillemin

I left for Paris on May 1st 2013. I had qualified to compete in the Paris World Cup and the Bern Grand Prix tournaments. Paris was scheduled for the 3rd and 4th of May, while Bern was slated for May 11th and 12th. After a bit of deliberation, we decided in order to get the most bang for our buck we had to depart from Saskatoon on the 1st of May, compete at the World Cup, do a training camp in Paris with Danielle Levavasseur and then take a train to Switzerland to compete at the Grand Prix held in Bern before finally coming home. This trip would be the longest trip I’ve had to make so far. I would be away from home for 14 days.

Leading up to the tournaments I had trained harder than ever before and I was feeling…

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April 17, 2013 – National Officials Day

 From Saskatchewan Fencing Association President, Brian Guillemin – a tribute to all those hardworking men and women who officiate at our matches:
National Officials Day

The official of the 2011 CSC’s held in Saskatoon enjoy a rare relaxing moment.

At the beginning of each fencing bout our fencers indicate their acknowledgement, recognition and respect to those individuals chosen to preside the match.  As with most sports, but in particular with fencing, officiating is no easy task.  Our official’s ability to recall and replay the events leading up to a point or an infraction, or to decide which athlete has priority or the point, are skills that are only obtained through dedication and commitment to our sport.  Good officiating is key to the success of our sport, so it is only fitting that on National Official’s Day, that we take time to acknowledge and thank those athletes, coaches and officials who have ever presided over a match.  SALUT!

Saskatoon’s own Leland Guillemin


Printer analyst by day, sword fighter by night, Leland Guillemin came across his passion for fencing by accident.

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Seven Principles of Fencing That Translate into the Business World

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 – The Fencing Coach by Damien Lehfeldt
Damien Lehfeldt

Patrik Dula at the CSC's in Saskatoon 2012. Photo by Jessie Jardine

Patrik Dula at the CSC’s in Saskatoon 2012. Photo by Jessie Jardine

TAMPA, March 20, 2013 — In a recent article in the New York Times, Trip Advisor CEO Stephen Kaufer briefly glossed over the virtues fencing had instilled in him. “In fencing, you have to think three moves ahead. It turned out to be good training for corporate life,” Kaufer said.

While fencing itself was not the central focus of Kaufer’s article, his truthful words spurred my thinking as to ways in which the principles of fencing do translate to the world of modern business. Thinking of ways in which fencing inspired me in my own and relatively new career, I came up with a list in which the sport has helped inspire work ethic and demeanor.

1. Ability to overcome adversity  Fencing is a sport in which the athlete might find him/herself down a few touches and facing defeat. The best fencer will see his/her misfortune as an opportunity to problem solve and confront the challenges at hand head-on to rise to victory. In the world of business, things aren’t always going to go swimmingly. One may encounter risks, miss important milestones, or perhaps drop the ball on a presentation. This challenge can actually be an opportunity just as it is in fencing.

2. Ability to adapt to and understand cultural norms — Fencing attracts a potpourri of individuals of different races, ethnicities and cultures. For those who have fenced in international competitions, they are frequently encountering a hodgepodge of different backgrounds. In our modern globalizing business world, you’re likely to work on diverse teams with each individual coming to the table with a unique perspective and approach to his/her work. Fencing makes interacting with diverse cultures second nature, an important skill to have in this day and age.

3. Ability to remain calm — Panic is the death knell of a fencer’s bout. To quote Napoleon Hill: “Your own emotions are your greatest handicap in the business of accurate thinking.” Lose your marbles, let your emotions run awry in the working world  and you’ll be as popular in the workplace as Justin Bieber is to anyone who knows about music.

4. Ability to think creatively/outside the box  If a fencer enters a bout with plan A, and only plan A, s/he is likely to lose. Fencing frequently challenges athletes to change their plans on the go and adapt to their opponents’ style in a given scenario. Fencing stimulates right brain creative thinking to achieve results. Business is never as simple as a linear path from planning to execution. Again, being nimble on your feet and in your thinking are essential.

5. Ability to socialize/work as a team  Competitive fencing is mostly an individual sport, but in the act of practicing, it fosters a team mentality. Any team is only as strong as its weakest link. Fencing teaches you to learn from the strongest links in your clubs/teams while simultaneously helping the weakest links to improve performance in a respectful, constructive manner. Exhibiting humility is also an integral part of team dynamics, as no one likes a hotshot prima donna Kanye West type fool in their club or on their business’ working teams.

6. Ability to listen/receive feedback — In fencing and in life, when you think things are going well, they can always be going better. The best fencers in our club have constant dialogue with their coaches in lessons, asking how they can tweak their actions to make them close to perfect. One of the best ways to work in sync with one’s manager/boss is to frequently sit down with them to align to their expectations and figure out areas for development.

7. Ability to work hard and prepare — If you think you can sit on your butt, twiddle your thumbs and have playtime with Barney the Dinosaur leading up to competition, you’re going to be sorely disappointed when you plug into the strip and get slapped around like a disobedient puppy. The time you put in before you fence precedes a successful competition. In business, the more familiar you are with materials you might be presenting, the more confidence you exude, displaying a mastery of the subject matter you bring forward. “Winging it” rarely works in fencing or business, and fencing prepares you for that fact with the values of hard work and preparation that it instills. 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on ways fencing has inspired you off the strip as well.

Keep up to date on every touch with Damien Lehfeldt, The Fencing Coach

Damien is a competitive fencer and volunteer assistant coach at DC Fencers Club in Silver Spring, Md. Damien was the coach of a London 2012 Olympic Athlete in Modern Pentathlon. He is an A-rated epeeist and was a member of the 2012 North American Cup Gold Medal Men’s Epee Team.


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Canadian Fencers Finish Top of the Podium in Junior World Cup / Les escrimeuses canadiennes terminent au sommet du podium à la Coupe du monde junior

From the Canadian Fencing Federation
Canadian Fencers Finish Top of the Podium in Junior World Cup / Les escrimeuses canadiennes terminent au sommet du podium à la Coupe du monde junior

La version française suit

For Immediate Release

Eleanor Eleanor Harvey (r) wins Belgrade World Cup. Alanna J Goldie wins silver.(l) Shown here with coach Paul ApSimon

Eleanor Eleanor Harvey (r) wins Belgrade World Cup. Alanna J Goldie wins silver.(l) Shown here with coach Paul ApSimon

March 18, 2012

Canadian Fencers Eleanor Harvey and Alanna Goldie Finish Top of the Podium in Junior World Cup

It was another historic day for Canadian fencing with women’s foil fencers finishing 1-2 at the Junior World Cup event this past weekend in Belgrade, Serbia.

The gold medal was won by Eleanor Harvey (Toronto, ON) who defeated fellow Canadian Alanna Goldie (Calgary, AB) 15-7 in the final.  This was Harvey’s first World Cup win, which moves her into 4th place overall in the Junior World rankings.  Harvey started the day off with a defeat against a Romanian fencer but then proceeded to get stronger through the preliminary rounds, winning her next five bouts.  She went on to win the next five bouts in the direct elimination round which eventually earned her the gold medal.

“I am excited to win my first Junior World Cup and it was amazing to be able to share it with my teammate Alanna Goldie as my opponent,” stated Harvey.  “Alanna showed me and other Canadians that it was possible to win on the World Cup circuit earlier this year with her victory in the Poland Junior World Cup.  Her victory in Poland was the first time a Canadian women’s foil fencer ever won a junior world cup, now we have won two!”

Harvey, who recently turned 18 years of age in January, still has two more years to compete at the junior level.  She has been steadily climbing the rankings with a sixth place finish at a Junior World Cup event December 15th in Leszno, Poland and recently won gold at the Pan American Junior Championships in February.  Harvey finished 13th at the 2012 Junior Cadet World Championships a year ago but she is aiming for higher at this year’s event in April in Croatia. “I am very excited for the upcoming Junior World Championships in Porec, Croatia in a few weeks,” stated Harvey.  “We came to Belgrade to do a warm up tournament for Junior Worlds, and I look forward to taking this experience with me to Porec.”

It was a great tournament for Alanna Goldie who made history as the first Canadian foil fencer to win gold at a Junior World Cup this past December.  She won all 5 of her preliminary bouts, and entered the direct elimination round ranked 3rd overall. She won all of her direct elimination bout easily, losing only to Harvey in the final. With her second place finish, Goldie who turns 19 in April moves into 5th place in the World Junior rankings.

Weapon Leader and Coach Paul ApSimon (Ottawa, ON) was thrilled with their performance. “It was a perfect day, a first ever 1-2 finish on the World Cup stage for Canadian fencing. The athletes fed off each other and got stronger and stronger throughout the day,” commented ApSimon. “This result is a confirmation that the Canadian women’s foil program has a bright future.  Alanna and Eleanor have been winning big events all year and are now ranked 4th and 5th on the Junior World Cup circuit.  The fact that they still have 2 and 3 Junior World Championships left is very exciting for Canadian Fencing.”


For further information, please contact: Caroline Sharp,, (613)323-5605.

Pour diffusion immédiate

18 mars 2012

Les escrimeuses canadiennes Eleanor Harvey et Alanna Goldie terminent au sommet du podium à la Coupe du monde junior

Ce fut une autre journée historique pour l’escrime canadienne. En effet, les escrimeuses ont terminé au premier et au deuxième rang à la compétition de fleuret féminin de la Coupe du monde junior, qui s’est déroulée au cours du weekend passé à Belgrade, en Serbie.

La médaille d’or a été remportée par Eleanor Harvey (Toronto, Ont.) qui a défait la Canadienne Alanna Goldie (Calgary, Alb.) par 15-7 à la finale. C’est la première victoire de Harvey en Coupe du monde, ce qui lui a permis de se hisser à la quatrième place au classement mondial junior. Harvey a commencé la journée avec une défaite contre une escrimeuse roumaine, mais elle s’est renforcée pendant les rondes préliminaires en remportant les cinq combats suivants. Elle a ensuite gagné les cinq matchs de la ronde d’élimination directe, ce qui lui a valu sa médaille d’or.

« Je suis heureuse d’avoir remporté ma première Coupe du monde junior, et c’était merveilleux de pouvoir partager ce moment avec ma coéquipière Alanna Goldie comme mon opposante, a commenté Harvey. Alanna m’a démontré, ainsi qu’aux autres Canadiens, qu’il était possible de gagner sur le circuit de la Coupe du monde plus tôt cette année avec sa victoire à la Coupe du monde junior de Pologne. Sa victoire en Pologne était la première Coupe du monde junior remportée par une fleurettiste canadienne, et aujourd’hui nous en avons gagné deux! »

Harvey, qui a fêté ses 18 ans en janvier, devra encore concourir pendant deux ans au niveau junior. Elle a grimpé dans les classements avec une certaine constance. Elle a notamment obtenu une sixième place à une compétition de la Coupe du monde junior le 15 décembre à Leszno, en Pologne et a récemment remporté l’or aux Championnats panaméricains juniors en février. Harvey a fini 13e aux Championnats du monde cadets juniors de 2012 il y a un an, mais elle vise plus haut pour la compétition de cette année qui aura lieu en avril, en Croatie. « Je suis impatiente de participer aux prochains Championnats du monde juniors à Porec, en Croatie dans quelques semaines, a indiqué Harvey. Nous nous sommes rendues à Belgrade pour disputer un tournoi de préparation pour les Mondiaux juniors, et je suis impatiente de mettre cette expérience à contribution à Porec. »

Le tournoi s’est bien passé pour Alanna Goldie qui est entrée dans l’histoire comme la première fleurettiste canadienne à avoir remporté une médaille d’or à la Coupe du monde junior en décembre dernier. Elle a remporté 5 des ses matchs préliminaires, et elle a amorcé la ronde d’élimination directe au 3e rang. Elle a remporté facilement tous ses matchs de la ronde d’élimination directe et ne s’est inclinée que devant Harvey à la finale. Avec sa deuxième place, Goldie qui fêtera ses 19 ans en avril, a pris la 5e place au classement mondial junior.

Paul ApSimon (Ottawa, Ont.), responsable d’arme et entraîneur, était heureux de leur performance. « C’était une journée parfaite. C’est la première fois que nous avons obtenu une première et une deuxième place à la Coupe du monde. Les athlètes ont été une source de motivation les unes pour les autres et sont devenues plus fortes à mesure que la journée avançait, a commenté ApSimon. Ce résultat confirme que l’avenir du programme canadien de fleuret féminin est radieux. Alanna et Eleanor ont remporté des épreuves importantes pendant toute l’année et occupent maintenant le 4e et le 5e rang sur le circuit de la Coupe du monde junior. Le fait qu’il leur reste encore 2 ou 3 Championnats du monde juniors est une très bonne nouvelle pour l’escrime canadienne. »

Living the Canadian Dream and Fencing

Saskatoon Fencer Named to Canada’s National Fencing Team

Patrik Dula in 2011

Patrik Dula in 2011

On March 8th the Canadian Fencing Federation announced its newest team members to Canada’s National Fencing Team and Saskatoon’s Patrik Dula has joined fellow Saskatchewan athletes Shannon Comerford of Saskatoon and Philip Pitura of Regina, as representatives of Canada on the world stage.

Patrik Dula began his fencing career at age 6 in his homeland of Satu Mare, Romania.  Falling in love with the sport instantly because of his competitive nature, he won his first bronze medal fencing in Foil at the Romanian Nationals at age 8, and his first gold medal at Romanian Nationals at  age 11.

Patrik Dula receiving his 2011 Saskatchewan Men's Foil Fencer of the Year Award from President Pat Hayes-Schryer.

Patrik Dula receiving his 2011 Saskatchewan Men’s Foil Fencer of the Year Award from President Pat Hayes-Schryer.

Upset at having to leave both his sport and his country behind at age 12, when Dula’s family decided to immigrate to Saskatchewan, the family’s first order of settling in, involved enrolling Patrik at the Salle Seguin in Saskatoon, where he could continue his love of fencing, under the tutelage of Maitre Claude Seguin, the Saskatchewan Provincial Coach.

While Dula qualified via the Canadian Fencing Federation on domestic points to attend World’s in Jordan two years ago, due to his then immigration status, he was forced to turn down the offer.  Now as a proud Canadian and even prouder Saskatchewan citizen, Dula says “This year I am extremely happy to make it finally because it was my goal for many years in Canada.  I will never quit and I won’t stop until the Olympics because that is what my dream has been ever since I can remember.”

Patrik Dula competing at the Canada Cup in Saskatoon November 2011“Whenever times have been tough in the past,” continues Dula. “The quote that has always kept me going when obstacles out of my control were in my way, was:  “When they knock you down you need to get back up brush the dirt off of your jersey and go for the cup.”

Dula and fellow teammate Philip Pitura of Regina, will head to Porec, Croatia in April, representing Canada as they compete in the World Junior Cup. Following in the footsteps of fellow Saskatchewanian Jean Pierre Seguin who won the Cadet World Championships in 2002, in Antalya, Turkey in the Men’s Epee Division.

We know you’ll do it again!  Best of Luck Patrik!  From Your Canadian Fencing Family!

Cruisin Christine

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