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Sister And Brother Duel On New Grounds: First Nations Youths Wins Provincial Fencing Championships

Doug Brecht

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SPRING 2002      v32 n02 p18  
Saturday March 9, 2002 was a great day for two First Nations youth who are involved in non-traditional sport. In the morning 13 year old Jamie Witchekan won the Under 17 Women's Epee event, and in the afternoon her 14 year old brother Kent won the Under 17 Men's Saber competition at the Saskatchewan Provincial Fencing Championships held in Saskatoon. On Sunday Kent went on to win a Bronze medal in the Under 20 Men's Saber event, while Jamie won a Silver medal in the Under 20 and a Bronze medal in the Senior Women's Epee events.

The brother and sister pair are recently returned from outstanding performances at the Calgary Open Fencing Championships, where Kent won the Gold Medal in the Under 17 and Bronze medal in the Senior Men's Saber. Jamie earned a Bronze medal in the Under 17 Women's Epee at the same event. These aren't flash in the pan results. Both, top the Under 17 rankings in Saskatchewan and have done so throughout the 2001-2002 season.

The Witchekan youth train at the Asquith Garde Fencing Academy and have fenced there for the past 5 years. Their coach, Doug Brecht who works as an analyst for the Saskatoon Police Service, says their parents, Joe Abbot and Donna Witchekan, have

Jamie Wichekan and her brother Kent Wichekan
Jamie Wichekan and her brother Kent Wichekan

really encouraged the two athletes and kept them at it through the early development years. This in a sport normally dominated by non-First Nations athletes.

Brecht went on to comment that Kent and Jamie have a great future ahead of them. They are already winning provincial championships and are making their presence felt on the national scene. They are ready to take a shot at getting on the Under 17 National Team in 2003.

"If they make it they will be off to the World Championships in Sicily. But first, Kent and Jamie need to find sponsorship for them so they can travel to the Canadian National Championships in St. John New Brunswick, this June." That would be the first step to qualify for the National Team.

If you are interested in finding out more about Jamie and Kent or want to sponsor them please contact Doug Brecht of the Asquith Garde Fencing Academy at (306) 975-8349 in Saskatoon.