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MANILA, Philippines – In an effort to help improve the skills of fencers here, prepare them for international competitions, and provide more opportunities, US-based Filipino fencer Lance Tan is scheduled to conduct a fencing clinic on Saturday, November 26 at the Fencing Hall of the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City.
Tan, who plays for Sacred Heart University in the US NCAA, has been selected last year as one of the 25 Young Leaders by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a four-year program from 2021 to 2024 that gives chosen athletes an opportunity to develop sustainable, sport-focused social businesses for the coming years.
The 21-year-old fencer said that conducting the pilot fencing clinic in the country – with 20 participants expected to show up from different clubs – is a goal as a young ambassador of the IOC, hoping to “have a positive impact on the community” particularly the athletes and their families.
“My project’s social development goals are quality education, good health and well-being, and reduced inequalities,” said Tan. “Fencing and all sport can serve as a gateway. IOC Young Leaders first and foremost should be living examples of Olympism and the Olympic values.”
“The clinic participants will leave not only with advanced fencing skills, but they – as well as their families – will also have the information, tools and resources to use fencing and the clinic experience to take the next steps: recruitment, scholarships/financial aid and other, especially educational opportunities in college both in the Philippines and abroad,” he added.
Tan, who represented the country in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina, will have fencers from different clubs and schools in the country in the clinic.
Aside from playing in the YOG, Tan, who trains at Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club and Golobitsky Fencing Club in the United States, is affiliated with Vicious Brainiac Fencing Club in the Philippines.
A dual national, he has been representing the Philippines in international competitions since 2015, including two senior World Championships, in Wuxi in 2018 and in Budapest in 2019.
While the clinic here – in partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Fencing Association – is the first for Tan under the IOC, conducting a seminar isn’t new for him since he had a similar activity in 2018. His experience as a fencer still actively competing, and having served either as a coach or assistant coach in the past gave him valuable information he wants to share with local fencers in the one-day clinic.
“I was honored to be the very first Filipino fencer to sign a National Letter of Intent and be recruited as an NCAA athlete to a Division 1 fencing program. There are very few of us, but we hope to change this. I believe it is important to help others,” Tan said.
“The project wouldn’t exist without the support of the IOC and sponsors like our founding partner Panasonic. The Young Leaders Programme is a life-altering experience. Through our projects, we are privileged to serve our communities.” – Rappler.com