Fencing Academy hosts beginner summer camp

19aFencers from Fayetteville recently competed in a USA Fencing sanctioned event in Wilmington. All-American Fencing Academy fencers Bruce McRae and Isaac Canady ended up facing each other in the Division 3 semifinals where McRae defeated Canady to take 3rd place while Canady took 5th place, a bout away from earning his national rating. Isabelle Guevarra took 11th place in the same event.

In the Open event, All-American Fencing Academy Head Coach Gerhard Guevarra also faced coaches from other clubs and placed 1st. Andrew Iford took 3rd place. Isabelle Guevarra also competed in the Open placing 8th while teammate Canady placed 15th.

Canady has been fencing for a little over a year at the All-American Fencing Academy. Since starting he’s become captain of the men’s foil team, become a varsity team member of the Fayetteville Homeschool Fencing Team, and has competed in over 20 events.

Iford is a multi-weapon fencer who has national ratings in two weapons. He is also a 1st Lt. in the Army at Fort Liberty. Iford previously fenced for the Wallingford-Swarthmore Panthers Fencing Club in Philadelphia.

Isabelle Guevarra, a rising high school Junior, has been fencing since she was 7 years old and has a national rating. Currently ranked 3rd in her high school, she plans on attending UNC Chapel Hill and trying out for the UNC Varsity Fencing Team. Isabelle’s parents are both graduates and were varsity letter fencers from UNC Chapel Hill. Her father, Gerhard, is the head coach at All-American Fencing Academy.19b

The Academy welcomes new members of all ages. They host a walk-in class during Fourth Fridays for only $20, with equipment provided.

The Academy also hosts the Beginner Olympic Fencing Summer Camp. No experience is required and the camp provides all the equipment.

Fencers will learn footwork, blade work and bouting. The fencing camp will be led by Academy head coach, Gerhard Guevarra. His notable experience includes UNC Varsity Fencing 1996-1999; NC Division Champion 2008, 2011, 2013; 2006 Vancouver World Cup participant; and two time USA Fencing North American Cup medalist.

The Beginner Fencing Summer Camp will be held in downtown Fayetteville from June 16-18 from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. Registration is open to ages 7-12 and teens (school age). Participant registration fees start at $120 and limited openings are available.

More information about the summer camp can be found on the All-American Fencing Academy’s website www.allamericanfencing.com or by calling 910-644-0137.

The All-American Fencing Academy is located at 207 B Donaldson Street. It instructs and trains recreational and competitive fencers starting at age 7, teens, adults, and veterans ages 40+. Its fencers compete regionally and nationally. Their coaches include former World Cup and NCAA fencers.

For more information about the All-American Fencing Academy and its classes, please call or e-mail info@allamericanfencing.com or visit www.allamericanfencing.com.

How to enjoy a healthy summer

16Colds might not be as common in summer as they are in winter, but anyone who has ever had a cold when the weather outside is warm and inviting knows just how unpleasant a runny nose, sore throat and lack of energy can be when everyone else seems to be outside soaking up the sun.

Indeed, there’s no substitute for feeling fit and healthy in summer.

A healthy summer is one when individuals avoid illness and make the most of a time of year when no one wants to battle colds or other issues that affect their well-being. The following are a handful of strategies that can help people enjoy a healthy summer.

Protect your skin from the sun. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher before going outside. Sunscreen should then be reapplied as necessary and especially after swimming or excessive sweating.

The American Cancer Society notes that sunburn that blisters can increase risk for skin cancer, but sunburns affect short-term health as well. Studies have shown that sunburn adversely affects immune system response, which could make people more vulnerable to viruses like COVID-19 or the common cold.

Limit alcohol consumption. Social schedules tend to fill up in summer, as seemingly everyone wants to host a backyard barbecue. The party vibe synonymous with summer leads to increased opportunities to drink alcohol, but excessive amounts of alcohol and summer sun are a bad combination.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, hot summer days increase fluid loss through perspiration, while alcohol contributes to fluid loss through an increased need to urinate. Significant fluid loss can lead to dehydration and heat stroke.

Eat the right foods. Summer is not typically as hectic a time of year as other seasons, particularly for parents accustomed to driving kids from one activity to another during the school year. But come summer, weekends filled with social engagements and a greater desire to be active outdoors can prove exhausting.

The CDC notes that a diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables supports muscles, strengthens bones and boosts immunity. That can make it easier to handle a physically active summer regimen and ensure that the immune system is in better position to fight off anything that may want to get in the way of summer fun.

Get adequate sleep. What’s better than a midday summertime nap? The answer to that is better sleep overnight.

Adults should aspire to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, which can fortify their immune system and ensure they don’t miss out on any summertime fun. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep deprivation can lead to decreased production of proteins known as cytokines, which are vital to fighting infection and inflammation.

A healthy summer makes for a more enjoyable summer. By embracing various immune-boosting strategies, individuals can make this summer even more fun.

Workshops help create authentic era clothes for Lafayette celebration

19aIn March of 1825, Marquis de Lafayette visited Fayetteville as part of his United States tour as “The Nation’s Guest.” On that day, Lafayette’s secretary, Auguste Lavasseur, wrote that while the weather was “excessively bad,” the reception was impactful.

Now, almost two hundred years later, we will celebrate Lafayette’s visit and his birthday. In honor of the upcoming Bicentennial Celebration and the Lafayette’s Grand Birthday Ball & Soirée on Sept. 9, Rebecca Russell from Beespoke Vintage will be offering three lectures and workshops titled Preparing for Lafayette.

This series will teach men and women about the historical background on clothing worn by people in the 1820s, followed by a sewing workshop where Russell will help participants create their own outfits to prepare for the Bicentennial event.

The first workshop is aptly named “Foundations.” During this workshop, participants will learn about the silhouette of the 1820s and how it had changed dramatically from the earlier “Colonial” period. Participants will explore a brief overview of the details and differences between the clothing of the working classes and nobility. The bulk of this workshop will then turn to and focus on the foundation garments for men and women.

“I think the biggest thing is just understanding how important foundation garments are for clothing of this era. Because if you’re not wearing the right garments underneath, the other garments are not going to look right,” Russell said.

“If you’re trying to wear modern undergarments with period clothing from back then, you’ll notice. So I really like to stress that you have to start with the foundations. So you have to start with the skin out to really get the right look, and you’ll notice it yourself when you’re wearing the clothing. It will definitely feel different, it’ll wear different, you’ll behave differently. And so that’s really important and why they're foundational in that sense, too.”

The June 10 lecture will begin at 9 a.m. and will be an hour long. The next two hours will be dedicated to cutting patterns and fabrics. There will be an hour break for lunch. The workshop will resume at 1 p.m. with the sewing and construction of the clothes.

Participants must bring their own patterns, fabric, machines and notions.

“Don’t show up at the workshop thinking that the pattern in fabric is going to already be there waiting for you. Because everybody’s a different size and people have different types of fabric they want to buy,” Russell19 said.

There are four ticket options. To attend the lecture, the workshop and have a catered lunch, that would be a $65 ticket. To attend the lecture and the workshop, but to bring your own lunch, that would be a $50 ticket. To attend just the lecture, which will take place in the morning, is $15. To attend the virtual lecture and workshop would be $20. There are discounts available for military, first responders, educators and single parents.

To buy tickets, get the supply list, and to learn more about the event, go to https://www.beespokevintage.com/preparing-for-lafayette

There will be two other lectures and workshops scheduled before the birthday party in September. The session on July 8 will focus on Day Wear, while the session on Aug. 12 will focus on Evening Wear.

Summer Solstice celebrated at Carvers Creek with run, yoga

14 June 21 marks the longest day of the year, and locals can enjoy the extra daylight at Carvers Creek State Park for an evening of running and yoga. The Summer Solstice Run and Yoga event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Long Valley Farm Access entrance to Carvers Creek.

The event is being held by Somatic Reset, Qualified Wellness and Running Wild Collective — three locally owned businesses dedicated to the wellness of the Fayetteville community.

“This was the brain child of Somatic Reset and Qualified Wellness. They wanted to incorporate a running portion to a yoga event, taking a kind of holistic wellness lens to the whole event and to try to get the outdoor community together,” said Jhovanna Therrien of Running Wild Collective, one of the co-organizers of the event.

Erin Basket from Qualified Wellness and Samantha Ewashko from Somatic Reset round out the team behind the event at Carvers Creek.

“Solstice is a big deal on the west coast and with the yoga community,” said Therrien. “Sam [from Somatic Reset] just moved from California and she wanted to get the yoga community and the running community together. We talked about it and decided on Carvers Creek because it allows for a trail run and a partnership with a Fayetteville State park.”

Participants will begin the evening at 5:45 p.m. with a 1.08 out-and-back walk or run through part of the park’s trails. Once completed, they will join three yoga instructors from the community in 108 sun salutations.
The number 108 is considered auspicious in yoga practices. The number refers to spiritual completion. Rounds of sun salutations are done in nine rounds with 12 postures, equaling 108. The number 108 can be found all throughout the world. The distance between the earth and the sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun. Stonehenge was built 108 feet in diameter.

“It’s not common to do all 108, it depends on your experience with yoga,” said Therrien.

“It is more of a meditative practice, it is a yoga practice.”

After the sun salutations, participants can kick back and chat with each other and the many vendors at the event. California Taco, Smoothie Queen and Tropical Sno Fayetteville will be on hand. Fleet Feet, Triangle Rock Club and Team RWB will also have booths.

“We are all looking forward to connecting more with the wellness community that is so present in Fayetteville,” said Therrien.

“I think it will be a good opportunity to have everyone in one location. I’m just really looking forward to connecting with and bringing people together in one space.”

The solstice run and yoga event will wrap up around 8:30 p.m.

Tickets for the event cost $20 per person or $50 for a family. Send any questions to qualifiedwellness@gmail.com.

Carvers Creek State Park is located at 2505 Long Valley Road in Spring Lake.

A body of work: Local fighter competes in Carolina Gloves South Boxing Tournament

18Briana Allan talks a lot with her hands. In her line of work, her hands are always moving but then again, so are her feet.

The real challenge, Allan says, is to get her mind there. She does this through listening to rhythm and blues and hip-hop artists like J. Cole to clear her head before the swings start. Anything with a good beat, she says.

“It’s more a mental game than physical,” Allan says. “Physically you can get there but can you handle being punched in the face over and over?”

She laughs. Allan is one of the few female boxers at her gym and the only one in her old gym in Lillington. In a sport that has been often filled with men, and sometimes having no sparring partners but male boxers, Allan has a good spirit about her. She laughs a lot as she moves her hands around, two hair ties adorning her wrist. She looks down at her wrists and laughs a little. It takes two, she says, to get her long curly hair into a braid and into her headgear.

For Allan, it’s all about breaking down the time into smaller increments.

“I will look at the clock and say, ‘I only have 30 more seconds.’”

Allan trains on three minute rounds with 30 second breaks. Allan, 17, graduated high school early and has stuck around the area just to continue to work on her sport before heading off to Campbell University in the fall.

In just a week, Allan and more than 300 other boxers, male and female, ages 8 to 70, will compete in the annual Carolina Gloves South Boxing tournament. The tournament will host boxers from all over the United States and a few from Canada and Puerto Rico.

“We’ll have some of the most elite boxers from all over … some will be competing for the U.S. Olympic team,” Mark Hornsby, the event's co-director, says.

Those two boxers with the Olympic trials in their futures are female students of Coach Patrick Finklin. Finklin will have boxers of all ages in the tournament including an 8-year-old who is currently number one in the country for his age and weight class.
Coach Patrick is also a coach to many active duty military members who will also be competing in the upcoming tournament.

“I like coaching active duty military. They are more disciplined and focused. They are here until they get stationed somewhere else,” he says. “They are not only focused, but loyal.”

Coach Hornsby and Coach Patrick are the two directors for the upcoming tournament and the Vice President and President of North Carolina USA Boxing, respectively.18a

“We’ve done a lot of work,” Hornsby says, “That’s what brings in the boxers and keeps them coming back.”

Allan is a testament to that statement with morning training sessions that range about two hours and lately, she’s added an afternoon session with her second boxing coach, Coach Font, to work on the skills she started in the morning.

“It takes a team to box,” she says.

Allan adjusts again in her seat and a smile is not very far from her face as she speaks about boxing and her coaches. Allan now travels from Lillington to Fayetteville to Coach Font’s gym to get some sparring time with other female boxers. For the beginning of her boxing time, she had mostly male companions to fight.

“You know, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Sparing with males has made me a lot tougher,” she says. “But being around women, it’s a different kind of empowerment. We all know what it’s like to [be] a woman in sports.”

Allan is excited about the upcoming tournament. She’ll keep up the regimen of training until a week out from the tournament when she and other boxers will protect their arms from becoming too fatigued and dial down the running as to be careful not to roll an ankle.

Allan’s grandmother, on the other hand, has other worries.

“She says, ‘I don’t want you to mess up your pretty face or break your teeth,’” Allan says laughing.

The tournament will be held June 17 and 18. Saturday’s round will start around 12 p.m. with the first session lasting until 4 p.m. and the second session beginning around 6 p.m. and will last until about 10 p.m. that night.

Sunday will be the championship rounds that begin at 12 p.m. and last until 6 or 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the event for $25, kids ages 7 and under are free.

“It’s going to be a good experience. That first year we did it was a gas shortage,” Coach Patrick says. “It didn’t stop people from doing it. When they showed up it was hard to find gas to get back home.”

The Carolina Gloves South Boxing Tournament is presented by the Harnett County Police Activity League. The tournament will be held at the Freedom Courts Sportsplex, part of the Freedom Christian Academy campus, located at 3126 Gillespie Street in Fayetteville.

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