Olympic fencer, Quezon City fencing program gain backing

Olympic fencer, Quezon City fencing program gain backing
Quezon City 1st District Rep. Arjo Atayde (center) speaks with QC councilor Joseph Juico (2nd from left) and some young fencers of QCSEP.

MANILA, Philippines – A fencing program from Quezon City credited for producing a Filipino athlete bound for the 2024 Olympics in Paris has been on the receiving end of a pledge of support from one of the city’s lawmakers.

Quezon City 1st District Rep. and actor Arjo Atayde last week pledged to back QCSEP, a fencing program that has successfully developed Paris-bound Samantha Kyle Catantan, a decorated fencer from Barangay Del Monte.

Atayde stressed that sports programs such as QCSEP are vital "if we want to help Filipino athletes achieve their dreams of competing in the Olympics."

“Fencing is one of the many sports that young Filipino athletes can excel in, and we are working with Councilor Joseph Juico so that we can help QCSEP better develop Filipino fencers who can compete not only in local tournaments, but also in international competitions," said Atayde, a member of the House of Representatives’ Youth Sports Development Committee.

Atayde met longtime Quezon City 1st District Councilor Joseph Juico, the young fencers of QCSEP, and their parents on May 17 at the legislator's district office along West Avenue, Quezon City, to discuss ways to help and to develop fencers not only from their district, but also from cities all over Metro Manila.

“It’s great to know that there’s a grassroots sports program for fencing in Quezon City that develops and nurtures kids from all over Metro Manila. With enough helping hands, QCSEP can produce fencers who can excel in the sport and one day win a medal for our country in the Olympics," said Atayde, who extended financial support for the team's ongoing programs.

The 22-year-old Catantan qualified for the Paris Olympics after winning the gold in the women’s foil event at the Asia-Oceania Zonal Olympic Qualifier last July in the United Arab Emirates. She is the first Filipino fencer to qualify for the summer games since Walter Torres in 1988. 

“QCSEP deserves credit for developing world-class fencers like our very own Samantha Catantan," said Atayde. "Her qualifying for the Olympics is proof that we should invest time and resources in fencing, which is why we plan to provide support for this sport in our district, and later on the entire Quezon City.”

QCSEP was established 18 years ago as a fencing grassroots program spearheaded by Juico.

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