Tue, Feb 06, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Tech boss helps fund young fencing hopefuls

SUBTLE PLAY:With competitions taking the young fencers overseas up to six times per year, one mother said: ‘Fortunately, there is corporate sponsorship’

By Chen Ping-hung and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fencing athletes Eva Chen, left, and Fan Yun-chien are pictured in an undated photograph. Chen and Fan are to compete at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Dubai later this month.

Photo: Chen Ping-hung, Taipei Times

For eight years, Trend Micro Inc chief executive officer Eva Chen (陳怡樺) has been personally sponsoring young fencing athletes, two of whom are to compete at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Dubai later this month.

Fan Yun-chien (范筠茜) and Chen Hsuan-yu (陳宣妤) are to compete at the annual competition organized by the Fencing Confederation of Asia and co-organized by the United Arab Emirates Fencing Federation.

Fan, 14, competes overseas five to six times a year, her mother said.

Including the costs of replacing equipment, the fees add up to nearly NT$1 million (US$34,122) per year, she said.

“Fortunately, there is corporate sponsorship,” she added.

If Fan is willing to practice, then the whole family is willing to support her, she said.

Chen Hsuan-yu, a third-year student at Taipei’s Xiehe Youde Senior High School said this would be her third time participating in the championships and her first time competing in the junior category.

She said she has been practicing with her father, Chen Ti-ju (陳帝如), who is also a fencer, since the third grade.

Whether during practice or competition, fencing requires players to closely observe each subtle movement made by the opponent to look for the best time to attack, Chen Hsuan-yu said.

“Do not underestimate the small adjustments that both players make to the angle of the sword,” she said.

They are both actually preparing to attack or fend off attacks, she said, adding that by the time a match is over, fencers are covered in sweat.

Chen Ti-ju said he thinks his daughter is more mature than other children her age.

As a self-proclaimed “fencing caddie” for his daughter, he said he hoped that his daughter could win a medal at an international competition.

Chen Hsuan-yu said that when she was a second-year student in junior-high, she had a chance to win a gold medal at a competition.

However, she acted hastily and lost the last point, and threw her protective gear and weapon to the ground in anger, she said.

She was suspended and reflected on her own actions for more than a month, Chen Hsuan-yu said.

Although he knew she was upset with her performance, she should have congratulated the opponent and maintained good sportsmanship, said her coach, Chen Huang-wen (陳煌文).

Apart from attending classes, Chen Hsuan-yu spends the rest of her time practicing, she said.

Chen Hsuan-yu said that apart from preparing for the Olympics, she aims to become an athletic trainer.

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