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You are here: Home Section Table Arts and Entertainment Fencing Her Way Through Sophomore Year: Scarsdale's Sedna Gandhi
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Fencing Her Way Through Sophomore Year: Scarsdale's Sedna Gandhi

SednaGhandiSedna Ghandi with her coach Vadim DiambekovSHS sophomore Sedna Gandhi is one of the top ranked fencers in her age group in the country and participates in fencing through the US Fencing Association. In July 2019 Sedna won a gold medal at the US National Championships in Columbus Ohio.

In addition to her recent gold medal, during Sedna's freshman year she earned an A rating (the highest rating in fencing) and made the All-American First Team. Only a handful of girls in the country were awarded this rating and first team status as high school freshmen. In August she earned a Silver Medal in the Bordeaux International Fencing Tournament in Bordeaux, France and she was just chosen to represent the USA team on the world cadet circuit.

Sedna has only been fencing for four years and trains locally at the Fencing Academy of Westchester (FAW) with Vadim Diembekov in Hawthorne. She does all this traveling and competing while maintaining her academics at Scarsdale High School.

We asked her how she manages and here is what she shared: “Because of the challenges of balancing both school and fencing I have had to spend a lot of time creating a consistent schedule. During the week, I make use of any free time in between classes for some of the work. Once I come home after school, after a quick snack, I try to finish as much of the work as possible. If I can’t get it done, then I study in the car on the way to fencing practice or during any downtime at the club. Since I train 2-3 hours every evening, except in unusual circumstances, I try not to leave anything for the late-night because I know I have to get to bed at a reasonable time so I can start the routine all over again the next day.”

She continued, “The tournaments that take me away from home for a few days also require me to plan well in advance for every class to make sure I do not fall behind in any subject. I do miss some days of school but my teachers have been very supportive and work with me to make sure I can make up the assignments and tests.”

Why does she love the sport? “I love to fence for a few reasons. As a combat sport it is physically challenging and certainly keeps me strong and in shape. The adrenaline rush I get as I am about to fence an opponent is like nothing else I do. I am excited and a little nervous at the same time and I love that feeling. Fencing is also a lot about strategy, almost like a chess match. In epee, the type of fencing I compete in, fencers have different styles, which makes each point unique. Epee is the heaviest “sword” of all three weapons, and you can hit (score a touch) anywhere from head to toe. Because of the different fencing styles, every bout requires a different strategy and I need to think one or two steps ahead if I want to win. It is both physically and mentally challenging. I also enjoy fencing because of my club and the friends I have made. I have been training at the Fencing Academy of Westchester since I began and have developed many close relationships with other fencers and my coach. More recently, I have been lucky enough to travel all around the US and attend international training camps where I have also gotten to spend time with fencers from all over the world.”

And what’s down the road? Sedna said, “Over the next few months there are many national and international tournaments in which I am planning to compete. Next week I am headed to the European World Cup in Budapest, Hungary where I am thrilled to be representing the US for the first time.

Over the next few months she plans to fence in tournaments both nationally and internationally in Grenoble, France and Bratislava, Slovakia.

She says, “Fencing is such a major part of my life that I hope to be able to continue to fence through my high school and college years. I have also seen many people enjoy the sport lifelong which I also hope to do”

Watch a video of Sedna winning the Gold Medal at the 2019 US National Tournament here.

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