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A Tribute to a True Master

Maitre Claude Seguin

Recently our Maitre Claude Seguin celebrated his 65th Birthday.  A milestone by any means, but for someone like Claude it is also the marking of a 40 year career in Fencing, almost 34 of which have been set in Saskatchewan.  You cannot say the word “fencing” in Saskatchewan and not say the name Claude Seguin in the same breath, for they are one and the same.  We have a presence in this sport thanks to the dedication of this Maitre who was born in Ontario, but chose to head out West to make his mark on the sport.  A Maitre who has been sought the world over for his expertise, but who instead of leading the glamourous life he might have had in New York, or Europe decided instead to create his own legacy right here on the Prairies.

 

 

Here are just a few (not all) of his accomplishments:

Claude Seguin – A Timeline in History

  • 1973 – began his coaching career in Ontario.
  • 1976 – coached in Manitoba for the next 3 years.
  • 1979 – became head coach of the Saskatoon Fencing Club and Provincial Coach of the Saskatchewan Fencing Association.
  • 1983 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Western Canada Summer Games
  • 1986 – The first Canadian to achieve the title of Maitre (Achieved NCI Level IV in all three weapons)
  • 1987 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Western Canada Summer Games
  • 1988 – Saskatchewan Dairy Producers Coach of the Year
  • 1990 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Western Canada Summer Games
  • 1990 – 1996 – Vice President of the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan
  • 1990 – 2000 Coach of Saskatchewan Team at 10 World Cadet Championships
  • 1991 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Canada Games
  • 1991 – Coach of the Canadian Team at the World University Games (Sheffield, England)
  • 1992 – Prepared and successfully qualified one Canadian fencer for the Barcelona Olympics (Allan Francis)
  • 1992 – Fencing Academy of Canada Junior Development Coach of the Year
  • 1993 – Fencing Academy of Canada Junior Development Coach of the Year
  • 1995 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Canada Games
  • 1995 – Coach of the Canadian Team at the World Universtiy Games (Fukuoka, Japan)
  • 1996 – Fencing Academy of Canada Junior Development Coach of the Year
  • 1999 – Coach of the Saskatchewan Team at the Canada Games
  • 2002 – Coach of the Canadian National Junior Epee Team World Junior Championships (Antalya, Turkey) – where son Jean-Pierre won the World Cadet Championships in epee.
  • 2003 – Advisor to the Canada Games
  • 2003 – Coach of the Canadian National Junior Epee Team World Junior Championships (Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
  • 2004 – Coach of the Canadian National Junior Epee Team World Junior Championships (Linz, Austria)
  • 2006 – Inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame
  • Ongoing – Consistently has placed at least one fencer from Saskatchewan on the National Team each year.
  • Ongoing – Prepared coaches at all levels, including Level IV, and runs a coaching clinic each summer.

From his bio on the SFA Website:

Maitre Claude Seguin

“Claude has represented Canada in every possible way in the sport from being a team coach, referee, manager, delegate, armourer and medic, frequently all at the same time, and performing well at all tasks. His apprenticeship coaching program is the model upon which other tutelage programs have been established, and he carries on his successful program among such distant cities as Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert, and Swift Current. Among his best athletes have been 2002 World Champion Jean-Pierre Seguin, 1992 Olympian Allan Francis, National Women’s Foil team member Lavinia Surdu, and Junior National team members Tarsch Bakos in épée, Kent Shirley in foil, and National Team Member of the Women’s Foil Fencing Team Shannon Comerford, as well as many other Cadet, Junior, and Senior National team members.”

Today marks a milestone for Claude’s life, and the continuation of the legacy he has built here in Saskatchewan, but he’s not done yet.  For those who have yet to experience the power of Claude not to worry – he has a new generation of fencers coming up in his Saskatchewan system, either under his direct tutelage, or under the coaches that he helped to train.

As he marks this milestone in his life, we honour our Maitre with words of heartfelt thanks, words of humour, and words that are Claude’s very own:

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A few of our favourite “Claude-isms”

(Thanks to John Brunning for sharing!)

“If Joe Schmuck from nowhere Sask. can do it ….”
“Since you are leading the drills anyway perhaps you should take a coaching course.”

The 2011 Saskatchewan Provincial Fencing Team

The 2011 Saskatchewan Provincial Fencing Team

 
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