Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

A Tribute to a True Master

Maitre Claude Seguin

Maitre Claude Seguin

Recently our Maitre Claude Seguin celebrated his 65th Birthday.  A milestone by any means, but for someone like Claude it is also the marking of a 40 year career in Fencing, almost 34 of which have been set in Saskatchewan.  You cannot say the word “fencing” in Saskatchewan and not say the name Claude Seguin in the same breath, for they are one and the same.  We have a presence in this sport thanks to the dedication of this Maitre who was born in Ontario, but chose to head out West to make his mark on the sport.  A Maitre who has been sought the world over for his expertise, but who instead of leading the glamourous life he might have had in New York, or Europe decided instead to create his own legacy right here on the Prairies.

Here are just a few (not all) of his accomplishments:

Claude Seguin – A Timeline in History

  • 1973 – began his coaching career in Ontario.
  • 1976 – coached in Manitoba for the next 3 years.
  • 1979 – became head coach of the Saskatoon Fencing Club and Provincial Coach of the Saskatchewan Fencing Association.
  • 1982 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Western Canada Summer Games
  • 1986 – The first Canadian to achieve the title of Maitre (Achieved NCI Level IV in all three weapons)
  • 1987 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Western Canada Summer Games
  • 1988 – Saskatchewan Dairy Producers Coach of the Year
  • 1990 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Western Canada Summer Games
  • 1990 – 1996 – Vice President of the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan
  • 1990 – 2000 Coach of Saskatchewan Team at 10 World Cadet Championships
  • 1991 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Canada Games
  • 1991 – Coach of the Canadian Team at the World University Games (Sheffield, England)
  • 1992 – Prepared and successfully qualified one Canadian fencer for the Barcelona Olympics (Allan Francis)
  • 1992 – Fencing Academy of Canada Junior Development Coach of the Year
  • 1993 – Fencing Academy of Canada Junior Development Coach of the Year
  • 1995 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Canada Games
  • 1995 – Coach of the Canadian Team at the World Universtiy Games (Fukuoka, Japan)
  • 1996 – Fencing Academy of Canada Junior Development Coach of the Year
  • 1999 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Canada Games
  • 2002 – Coach of the Canadian National Junior Epee Team World Junior Championships (Antalya, Turkey) – where son Jean-Pierre won the World Cadet Championships in epee.
  • 2003 – Advisor to the Canada Games
  • 2003 – Coach of the Canadian National Junior Epee Team World Junior Championships (Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
  • 2004 – Coach of the Canadian National Junior Epee Team World Junior Championships (Linz, Austria)
  • 2006 – Inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame
  • Ongoing – Consistently has placed at least one fencer from Saskatchewan on the National Team each year.
  • Ongoing – Prepared coaches at all levels, including Level IV, and runs a coaching clinic each summer.

From his bio on the SFA Website:

Maitre Claude Seguin

Claude coaching Junior National Team Member Patrik Dula

“Claude has represented Canada in every possible way in the sport from being a team coach, referee, manager, delegate, armourer and medic, frequently all at the same time, and performing well at all tasks. His apprenticeship coaching program is the model upon which other tutelage programs have been established, and he carries on his successful program among such distant cities as Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert, and Swift Current. Among his best athletes have been 2002 World Champion Jean-Pierre Seguin, 1992 Olympian Allan Francis, National Women’s Foil team member Lavinia Surdu, and Junior National team members Tarsch Bakos in épée, Kent Shirley in foil, and National Team Member of the Women’s Foil Fencing Team Shannon Comerford, as well as many other Cadet, Junior, and Senior National team members.”

Today marks a milestone for Claude’s life, and the continuation of the legacy he has built here in Saskatchewan, but he’s not done yet.  For those who have yet to experience the power of Claude not to worry – he has a new generation of fencers coming up in his Saskatchewan system, either under his direct tutelage, or under the coaches that he helped to train.

As he marks this milestone in his life, we honour our Maitre with words of heartfelt thanks, words of humour, and words that are Claude’s very own:

****************

A few of our favourite “Claude-isms”

(Thanks to John Brunning for sharing!)

“If Joe Schmuck from nowhere Sask. can do it ….”
“Since you are leading the drills anyway perhaps you should take a coaching course.”
The 2011 Saskatchewan Provincial Fencing Team

The 2011 Saskatchewan Provincial Fencing Team

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“Claude has always made me laugh and tells it like it is.  Recently he told me that my “baby” (19 year old) needs to cut off all of his curls (like his team mates did for him when he did his first European epee tour a year and a half ago) and cut the apron strings!  My boy is now a young man who has learned to love fencing from the impact that Claude has had on his life. Justin feels that Claude has inspired him to become a better person through becoming a better athlete.”

~ James Neumeyer

“Claude’s enthusiasm and commitment to the sport of fencing is first rate.  His knowledge and pursuit of athlete development has helped many fencers achieve world class rankings.  He deserves a joyous birthday and a year ahead filled with great memories!”

~ Kathy Nazarali, SFC registrar

“Ah Claude… hearing them call our names at the airport and him casually saying “Good – time for one last cigarette”. Overheard during a lesson: “Relax, relax goddammit or I’ll kill you.” (he meant that the student needed to be relaxed in order to react correctly, but it sounds way better out of context). Getting an exhausting lesson just before pools at an elite circuit tournament in Montreal (and me in way over my head), and consequently roaring through the pools while all my opponents were just starting to wake up. Driving back up from Regina at 2:00 in the morning. It’s endless, really. Fencing + Saskatchewan = Claude. Nuff said.”

~ Jeff O’Brien, Asquith Fencer

“To this day Claude advocates a cold ball of spaghetti as a good pre-competition snack. It makes me laugh every time.”

~ Erica  Emery, Regina  Fencer

“While at the Canadian National Championships in Edmonton In the spring of 1983, Claude was, shall we say, “less than thrilled” to have the Edmonton police come into the gym looking for him.  Evidently, he had been parking illegally and feared the jig was up.  At least, that is the reason he gave for being apprehensive.  He was greatly relieved to learn they were only looking for him to rescue my daughter.  She was one of two kids from Saskatchewan who participated in a program that year to encourage youth to take up fencing.  The program was run by the Candian Fencing Federation  (CFA at that time).  It provided chaperones and brought young fencers to the nationals from across the country.    Due to some mix-up, the Saskatchewan fencers were abandoned at their residence and weren’t taken to the airport for their flight home.  Without cell phones, and barely any computers in use, I had no way of contacting anyone at the tournament other than to call the police.”

~Mike Weaver, Past President Saskatoon  Fencing Club

Claude is the type of coach that will always be there for you no matter what. Whether it be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or a word of advice he is always there to help his athletes do their best. His passion and commitment to fencing is unrivalled – on par with his ability to chat!

~Shannon Comerford, Saskatchewan Provincial Team Member and Member of the Canadian Nation Women’s Foil Fencing Team

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 www.fencing.ca
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.”

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For further information, please contact: Caroline Sharp, ed@fencing.ca, (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!

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