Tuko Maia en garde to bring fencing to Perth’s northern suburbs

Mitchell Rigney (y10) with Tuko Maia (UWA Fencing Club head coach). Photo: Martin Kennealey
Mitchell Rigney (y10) with Tuko Maia (UWA Fencing Club head coach). Photo: Martin Kennealey

PEOPLE interested in trying their hand at fencing can take part in a free trial class in Ocean Reef.

In a bid to establish a fencing culture in the northern suburbs, UWA Fencing Club head coach Tuko Maia has teamed up with Prendiville Catholic College to run classes for all age groups, offering the first one free.

The 45-year-old Craigie resident said he was always fascinated with swords and Star Wars.

“During high school, some friends invited me to have a go and after six months I was a national bronze medallist and one year after, I was selected for the junior world championship in Denver, US,” he said.

Since then he has been the Brazilian champion three times, South American champion, Australia and Oceania champion, selected for five world championships and two Pan American Games.

McKenzie Book (y7), Maude Poirier (y7), Tuko Maia (UWA Fencing Club head coach), Mitchell Rigney (y10), Nicholas Caetano (y7 Beaumaris Primary School) and Lewis Yeo (y10 Lake Joondalup Baptist College). Photo: Martin Kennealey

He was also a technical officer at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and sport information coordinator at the Paralympics and is a Maitre D’Armes (master fencing coach) for the International Fencing Federation.

“Fencing is a fantastic sport,” Maia said.

“We call it chess with muscles – very strategic and physically demanding.

“It’s also what I call the anti-bullying sport where the technical aspect is very important and we can accommodate all body types.”

He said the classes were open to all community members, providing fitness, games and fencing tutoring with all equipment included.

He said as the development officer for Wheelchair Fencing in Oceania, he was also looking for potential athletes to join the program.

Classes are every Wednesday from 3.30pm to 5pm and cost $180 per term.