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The Antigua and Barbuda Fencing Federation (ABFF) is currently benefiting from an ongoing visit by professional fencer, Nestor Rosario out of Los Angeles California, who has also visited a number of other Caribbean countries to include Dominica, Barbados and Jamaica.
Rosario, who said his main focus is to build and promote the sport of fencing here while providing training to the country’s lone fencer for the upcoming Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games, Marcel Maurice, commended the federation for the work that they have done thus far.
“What I see here is tremendous support from those who have been volunteering. The fencers are like sponges and they have been absorbing, but we do need more bodies and we do need more exposure for the sport and that would be where we are lacking,” he said.
“Fencing is the safest combative sport that exists, it’s perfect for all ages and both genders and in fact, what I am trying to promote right now is actually veterans’ fencing which starts at 40 years and over and it is booming on all levels and as I said before, you can fence into your 80s and 90s,” he added.
Executive member for the fencing federation, Rameez Mascall, valued Rosario’s visit, adding that the organisation has a plan going into the July 19 to August 3 CAC Games in Colombia.
“It’s not going to be a new environment altogether because the fencers are the same so what we are going to be looking to do is accumulate points in theses bouts because what happens is that, in every bout, your points count regardless of whether you win or not, every point adds up and you may be surprised that through accumulation of points, you can advance to the next round without even winning a match so that’s going to be our focus and our strategy going into these games,” he said. 
Looking beyond the CAC Games, Mascall said plans are already in the works for a national championship.
 “We’re looking forward to hosting our national championships this year and one of our objectives this year is to, along with our national championships, we want to send out invitations to our Caribbean brothers like Dominica, Barbados, Jamaica and invite them to come for our national championships and not just so they can see Antigua, but so that we can expose our fencers here to what is out there and what is in the region,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda will compete in six disciplines: athletics, swimming, lawn tennis, fencing and beach volleyball.
The delegation will be headed by Phillip Isaacs Sr. as the Chef de Mission along with Eric Henry as the Administrative Assistant. (Neto Baptiste)