Bundanoon fencer Cathy Syme had a podium finish at the 2017 Asian Veteran Fencing Championships in Bangkok recently.
Syme placed equal third, and claimed a bronze medal in the 50-59 years individual veteran women’s epee.
The championships ran over four days, with more than 300 fencers from 15 countries.
Syme was beaten by Japan for the gold medal and China for the silver medal.
The fencer shared equal third place with Hong Kong.
Syme was among a range of veteran’s fencing competitors aged 40 and over.
Syme said she was happy her hard work paid off at the competition.
It’s a huge surprise but it’s really satisfying. I’ve only been fencing for four years.
“It’s a huge surprise but it’s really satisfying. I’ve only been fencing for four years,” she said.
“At my age I’ve got to work hard, I’ve got catching up to do.
“That’s why I have worked hard, and it was great to see it pay off.”
Syme hones her skills with training several days a week.
This includes fencing practice in Canberra once a week, and practice at the Southern Highlands Fencing Academy one day a week.
Syme said the environment at the competition, and in fencing circles in general, was welcoming and friendly for newcomers.
“What I love the most about veterans fencing is the people,” she said.
“Everyone is so friendly and encouraging, especially to newcomers.
“I think most people our age are happy to be there.”
Syme said she wished she’d picked up the sport sooner, and encouraged anyone with an interest to give it a go.
“I just can’t believe I didn’t find fencing 20 years ago or more, it’s the best sport and it’s so exciting,” she said.
“[Success] is not going to happen overnight, you’ve got to be realistic about your abilities.
“Just start small I think. Regional competitions is where it all starts. From there you go to state, national and international.”
Fencing is a fun way to maintain fitness and develop friendships.
Southern Highlands Fencing Academy trains each Friday at Oxley College gymnasium from 6pm to 9pm during term time.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Southern Highlands Fencing Academy.