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By James Mirtle

On guard! They parried, they foiled, they stabbed each other with swords. Ryerson hosted its annual Ontario Challenge Circuit event this past Sunday and the Ryerson fencing squad took part.

Three hundred men and women brandishing swords invaded Kerr Gym and battled in epee and foil ladder matches for much of the day. Brendan Coles took up fencing last year after he saw Ryerson had a program.

“I’ve always had an interest in hand-to-hand combat,” said Coles. “I came [to Ryerson] for the Geographic Analysis program, but when I saw there was a fencing team, I signed up for lessons.”

Coles was eliminated early in the competition, but said that it was a good experience. Fencing has become increasingly popular for universities. Represented at the OCC event were fencers from Brock University, the University of Toronto, Queen’s University and Carleton University.

The next event for Ryerson’s fencing team will be Oct. 16 and 17 when they venture to a tournament hosted by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

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