As far as the Belizean Sport world goes, fencing can be arguably considered the least known in Belize. Fencing is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons and is one of four sports which has been featured at every one of the modern Olympic games. Technical director and coach for the Belize Fencing Association is Frank McKenzie.
Frank McKenzie, Technical Director, Belize Fencing Association
The objective of the game is to try to beat your opponent by using a sword. Fencing in the 18th Century in Europe, served the purpose of settling a dispute against honor. Two people would dual together with the sword. If you dishonor me, we would have a death match; when the match is finished, someone is probably dead.
Historically, fencing used to be a way to settle disputes in an honorable way. Today it is a relatively safe sport with many protective gears. McKenzie tells us about the gears used.
The first armor is a padding underneath the clothes. They use a jacket, which is a very thick armor and then a vest which is also for protection. For protection of the face, there is a mask to cover up the face. It is a very safe sport. A sword can be used at least thirty years, before it is broken. There is no record of an injury happening with the sword.
Owen Sonny Maine, president of the Belize Fencing Association, says that they are working with the international Fencing organization to get Belize prepared to send out its first team to participate internationally.
Owen Sonny Maine, Pesident, Belize Fencing Association
They are now part of the International Fencing Federation and yes we haven’t sent a fencing athlete to any game yet, but with the help of Mr. McKenzie, who is our mentor here and the support of the International Federation and the Belize Olympic Committee, we are getting athletes prepared to enter the regional games in the near future. We can start from the regional games, then the Pan American games, then eventually to the Olympics Games.
Fencing has only been in Belize at the sport level for a year.