Blind fencers from The Carroll Center will compete against students from the Perkins School for the Blind on Monday, March 29, at 3 PM on the Carroll Center’s campus. This is the first ever fencing match between students from the two organizations on opposite sides of the Charles, and was initiated by Fencing instructor Cesar Morales.
Morales has been teaching Fencing at the Carroll Center for the past three years, succeeding the legendary Eric Sollee, who taught fencing at the Carroll Center for over 30 years before his recent death. Morales, also a world class fencing champion, quickly became intrigued when Sollee introduced him to blind fencing. More recently Morales has also been teaching Fencing to the young students at Perkins School and he feels that their quick learning curve has brought them to the competitive level of his older more seasoned fencing students at the Carroll Center. “Once I announced this match, I noticed the competitive spirit of students from both organizations kick in and their skills really improved,” said coach Morales.
The primary purpose of Fencing at the Carroll is therapeutic. It helps develop balance, coordination, dexterity and discipline of movement required for good mobility skills using the long cane. Fencing was first introduced in the rehabilitation process by Fr. Carroll when he founded the Carroll Center’s rehabilitation training program for newly blinded adults in 1954. It was an activity that was successful with the blinded veterans of WW II and Fr. Carroll found that it was an enjoyable way to develop these basic cane skills while also a good outlet for healthy competition.
So, on March 29, Morales will referee the fencing match that will put experience (Carroll Center) vs. youth (Perkins School) and by the end of the day President Stephen Rothstein of Perkins or President Mike Festa of the Carroll Center will have to buy dinner for the winning president.