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Timéo: En garde, Ready, Fence!

I didn’t know much about fencing and I didn’t know anyone practicing this sport but I remember being captivated by the fencing matches at the Olympics game, the room so quiet with the only sound of the touching blades. Now I am the mother of a 3-year-old boy who loves playing with foam swords, so when my friend Amandine’s son Timéo started fencing I was curious to know more about this sport.

If like me you are not familiar with fencing, I hope you will enjoy reading Amandine and Timeo’s interview. And if you are in search of an activity for your child, maybe afterward you can show them a fencing video, as Amandine did, and see if it catches their attention.

I’m Amandine, and I’m a mother of 3, Eléa 14, Timéo 10 and Eve 8. All my kids were born in France and were 7, 3, and 1 years old when we moved to California for my husband’s job.

What are the first activities Timéo did as a kid?

Amandine - Timéo didn’t want to try any sport for a long time. We tried soccer with his friends and he didn’t like it. He then chose yoga and piano for two years before covid hit.

Did anyone in your family or among your friends practice fencing? Was it a sport you knew well?

We were trying to figure out what he would like. And while talking with someone at school she explained that her son was a really good fencer. I talked about it with Timéo, and I showed him videos and I saw a little sparkle in his eyes. We agreed on a one-week camp for him to try, and he was so hooked that he didn’t miss any fencing competition from the Olympic Games during the summer.

When and where did Timéo start fencing?

We chose Silicon Valley Fencing Center as it was our friend’s son's club. He started at 7 years old with the one-week camp. And then he enrolled for the next year.

What are the things you like most about fencing for Timéo?

I like how it gave him focus and confidence. The teachers are strict but kind and they make the kids work and challenge them.

I love how he is smiling and exhausted after his lessons. Proof he enjoyed himself and engaged well.

It’s mostly an individual sport, you have to rely on yourself to win. The team part is that friends are always supportive of others. Also, there is a lot of fair play and respect is valued.

Do you have things that you don’t like or that are challenging for you or Timéo?

The only negative thing is it’s expensive and even more when you compete. I guess like most sports in the Bay Area.

Now that he has been doing it for several years, do you have any advice for parents considering fencing for their kid?

I would say go for it, it’s a really complete sport. It helps the kids to grow in confidence, focus, and challenge them. It’s also a niche sport for scholarships. But be ready to commit, it’s expensive in money and time.

Timéo is 10 years old and he has been practicing fencing for 2 years.

What do you like about fencing?

Timéo - I love it because it’s fun. I love the competitions and doing sport.

What is your best fencing memory?

I don’t know, I loved every time I went to practice.

What are your next goals?

Starting fencing in France where we are moving.

How long do you see yourself practicing fencing?

For a long time.

Have you ever considered doing another sport?

Yes, CrossFit.

Timéo’s fencing practice in details
  • When he was a beginner, he had 2 group lessons per week, 55 minutes. Now that he has reached the intermediate level he has 3 group lessons per week for 90 min, and 2 private for 20 min so a little more than 5 hours per week.
  • Competitions are individual registration, so you do as many or as little as you want. We chose to stay really local for the first year, and plan to expand with him getting better at it.
  • The material is around $600. You need 1 mask, 1 jacket stretch, 1 knickers stretch, long socks, 1 lame (electric vest), 2 electric foils, 2 body cords, 1 glove, 1 chest protector, 1 bag, and clean tennis shoes. Some are only needed when the kid starts competitions.
  • For 3 times 90 minutes at the intermediate level, it’s $460 per month and private lessons are per package $550 for ten lessons.
  • When you start competing, you have to pay tournament fees (different depending on if it’s regional, national or international), coach fees (same it depends on the distance) and travel fees.
  • The one-week camp is between $255 and $425 depending on the week, it can be booked on ActivityHero.

Amandine’s favorites

Favorite kids stores

Family favorite places to eat

Favorite places to have fun

Favorite local brands, artists, or makers

Favorite family-oriented online resources