VRI Swordplay

An introduction to fencing in a fun, play-filled environment 

VRI Swordplay introduces young children to fencing with a focus on ‘skills’ rather than ‘drills’. It is a unique program created by VRI club coaches using the ‘Playing For Life’ principles developed by the Australian Sports Commission. 

What do you do in a VRI Swordplay class?

VRI Swordplay is structured in 3 levels according to age and maturity. 

Students warm up with a running and movement game then progress to a number of skill-specific games using bean bags, tennis balls, hoops, and balance beams. This helps develop co-ordination skills such as balance, lateral movements, change of direction, and hand-eye coordination.

Students then have a chance to learn basic fencing skills with a coach including standing en garde, simple footwork, being able to hit the opponent, and parry and riposte. Finally, the older students fence each other while the younger students play different fencing games.

Why do you use plastic swords and masks?

The younger levels (ages 7-11) use soft plastic equipment. This allows them more time to focus on skill-specific games that teach fencing ideas. At an early age, children also find it physically demanding to hold a metal foil for long periods of time. As students move up to the higher level, they have the basic fencing skills, strength and maturity to progress to metal epées, foils or sabres. 

Can my child keep fencing after VRI Swordplay?

Swordplay is an introduction to fencing for younger children. As they develop, students can also take private lessons from a coach to build their skills, and move on to either the Junior Épée Squad or the Sabre and foil Squad

See the VRI Swordplay class page for times, costs, and more information.