On May 13th, Marc-André LeBlanc (my friend and collegue) went to Yorkhill Elementary School to do a fencing demonstration at a multicultural event. The goal of the event was to talk a little bit about Pan Ams and present fencing to all the families present. There were about 300 people that night.
On Friday (May 15th), I had another demo at San Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic School. I went there in the morning to do 2 presentations of 45 minutes each to the whole school, from kindergarden to grade 8! During those 2 days of demos, every kid had their eyes wide open and a smile on their faces! I shared fencing with nearly a thousand people!
It felt amazing to present my love to those kids who were exited to learn about it.
Here is part of the feedback we received from the school board liaison after one of the demos:
“Finally, I just wanted to reiterate that you and Marc-Andre did a stupendous job last week. Your demo was thoroughly engaging for the kids and entertaining for the adults, which is very hard to achieve and you two accomplished both very easily. It appears that interacting with crowds and children seems to come naturally to you, and you improvised very well to adjust to the various audiences and time constraints. I've received nothing but rave reviews about the both of you and I hope this will contribute to your vision of opening up the sport of fencing to a new generation of fencers.”
The feeling that I had after both events was amazing. The “pay it forward” mentality is very satisfying but having feedback like this is positively overwhelming. These were the first demos I have done, and I will be doing many more again at every opportunity that comes up.
This was just the beginning.