There’s no substitute for hard work.
Jolo-born Filipino-American fencer Lance Tan said this after he joined the practice sessions of the national men’s fencing team and conducted an International Olympic Committee-backed seminar recently at the Philsports Complex.
“I told them that if you put in the hard work, it has to be every day of your life. Whether it’s fencing, or your studies, or anything in your life, it will be the turnout that you want if you put in the hard work,” said Tan following a four-day visit in Manila.
Some 20 advanced-level fencers from the Philippines attended the clinic, held to help improve the skills of fencers.
The fundamental skills that Tan shared to the fencers can help them prepare for international competitions and may even provide more opportunities for scholarships in the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the future.
Tan plays for the Sacred Heart University Pioneers in the Northeast section of the US NCAA Division 1.
The 21-year-old was chosen last year as one of the 25 Young Leaders by the IOC. He also saw action for the Philippines in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Joining the national squad at the moment was not among his goals since he is in his final year in college.
And he is preparing for his last season with the Pioneers, who won 10 of 23 matches during the NCAA fencing championships. Tan ended up in 14th place in the individual foils with Andrew Chung of Harvard University taking the gold medal.
The Philippines has another fencer playing in the US NCAA in Samantha Catantan, who placed 13th at Mid-Atlantic/South Regionals last season with Penn State University.
Tan hopes to “have a positive impact on the community” particularly the athletes and their families.”
“My project’s social development goals are quality education, good health and well-being, and reduced inequalities. Fencing and all sport can serve as a gateway,” added Tan.
Back in the US, Tan trains at Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club and Golobitsky Fencing Club, which is affiliated with Vicious Brainiac Fencing Club in the Philippines.
Vicious Brainiac is the local club which made it possible to for Tan to connect with other clubs associated with the Philippine Fencing Association.
In previous years, Tan has represented the Philippines in international competition since 2015, and this included two senior World Championships.