NZ fencing champion eyes gold medal win
One of the best decisions Kyle Macdonald ever made was taking up fencing.
It’s taken him quite far - two national titles and seven Commonwealth Fencing Championships outings.
It’s a huge accomplishment for the Mt Albert resident who struggled with every sport he tried in school because of asthma.
His medical condition also wiped out any chance of taking up the family sport of mountaineering.
‘‘I gave rugby a good go but I’ve always been on the skinny side,’’ the 50-year-old says.
‘‘I tried whitewater kayaking and a bit of athletics but was a middle-of-the-pack sports person at school with asthma who didn’t really stand out in any way.
‘‘I wasn’t any good at school but started fencing when I was 16 years old. I carried on fencing and started to train really seriously in my mid 20s.’’
Macdonald has won the Auckland Championships six times, placed eighth at a Commonwealth Fencing Championship and 26th at the 2014 World Veterans Championship.
His love for the sport prompted him to start coaching at Auckland Swords Fencing Club at Auckland Boys Grammar School, and to start up the Mt Albert Grammar School Fencing Club
‘‘My fencing master gave me a wonderful gift when he taught me to fence and I’d love to repay the debt.
‘‘It’s let me travel the world, meet people from many countries and given me a passion and an easy way to keep fit and healthy.
‘‘I now spend more time coaching than training and I want to pass on my love of the sport to another generation.
‘‘It makes me think of the old musketeers bettering the young upstarts.’’
Two weeks ago, he won his second national title - the Men’s Epee at the New Zealand National Fencing Championships in Dunedin.
The club had a great outing at the nationals competition as six of their fencers made the finals in their divisions.
Macdonald now prepares for the Commonwealth Veterans Fencing Championship at Christchurch this month.
He’s won silver and bronze at previous competitions but will be hoping to bag his first gold both in the individual and team categories.
Kyle Macdonald, right, in action at the New Zealand National Fencing Championships.