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Business Profile: Zeta Fencing teaches unique sport with lifelong benefits

by | May 30, 2023 | Business, Featured

Zeta Fencing

Beginner students at Zeta Fencing’s summer program in Ashland practice with their sabers.

Some go after seeing the dashing imagery in movies or Olympic Games broadcasts. Others want to explore the sport because a friend taking classes has become passionate about it. A few are just curious about the stylish Zeta Fencing sign at the historic Clock Tower building in Ashland and they end up enrolling.

“Everyone has a unique story about how they got started,” said Annette Pein, Zeta Fencing’s executive director. “My daughter began when she was 8 after I read an article about Zeta Fencing, and she continued for many years. You don’t need a particular ability or talent to learn fencing — dedication and hard work can take you far. It’s a sport people can practice throughout their lives, too.”

Benefits include fitness and agility — both physical and mental — as well as camaraderie and fun. Fencing develops quick thinking and confidence as the athletes need to exercise creativity and strategy. One parent said of the impact on his son, “He enjoys the structure and mutual respect that is created, the great coaches and the friendships he has formed.”

Pein explained the organization’s programs: “We offer beginner classes for kids starting at age 8. Our beginner summer programs are for students with no prior experience. It’s full days from Monday through Friday, and many participants enroll for multiple weeks. In the fall through spring, we have evening and weekend beginner classes for youth and adults.”

The goal in saber fencing, which is the discipline taught at Zeta, is to make contact with the opponent’s upper body while avoiding being touched by their fencing blade. Zeta provides all the protective gear to prevent injuries. Zeta’s highly skilled coaches break down the moves and teach them step by step. Learning takes much repetition, yet by the end of their first set of classes, a student has the sense they are a fencer.

“Quite a few novices continue beyond their initial introduction,” said Pein. “After the beginner level, they can take the more advanced programs we offer, up through and including elite training for competitors at the NCAA and Olympic level.”

Zeta Fencing founder Zoran Tulum has won national championships, coached award-winning college teams and served as coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic teams in 2016 and 2021. Under the leadership of Zeta head coach Dima Boyko, fencers excel at the highest levels, earning medals in regional, national and international competitions.

Tulum founded Zeta Fencing in Natick over 20 years ago with the belief that the future of the sport depends on strong youth programs. In 2022, the need for more space led to a move to the Ashland facility. “We have participants from all over the greater MetroWest region,” said Pein. “Lately, we’ve also been getting more teens and high school students. While some have aspirations to compete here or in college, others come just for fun, and we encourage that because there are very positive benefits either way.”

For schedules and more information about the programs at Zeta Fencing, 200 Homer Avenue, Building 3, in Ashland, visit ZetaFencing.net, call 508-655-6480, or email ZetaFencing@gmail.com.

Business Profiles are advertising features designed to provide information and background about Hopkinton Independent advertisers.

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