Howdy, Neighbour! Meet Emma Kinley

(Photo contributed)

At the Michelin Social Club on a Tuesday night, you’ll hear the sound of épées clanging against each other and the occasional shout of “En garde!” Here, you’ll meet Emma Kinley, one of the fencing instructors of South Shore Duelists.

Born and raised in Lilydale, Emma has been fencing since she was seven years old. For a stretch of time, fencing was a major part of her life. In 2007, she competed in the Canada Games in Whitehorse for Nova Scotia’s fencing team “Every other weekend we were gone to some kind of competition,” she says.

Emma went on a fencing hiatus while she completed her degree in environmental science at St. Francis Xavier University. When she moved back to the South Shore, she became an instructor with South Shore Duelists, now one of the only two fencing clubs in the province.

Emma says that South Shore Duelists has grown significantly in the past few years. “It’s a sport that attracts a different kind of athlete,” she says. She compares fencing to running a marathon while playing chess; it’s a combination of physical and mental exertion.

Despite the sport’s difficulty, there is no shortage of eager fencers learning from Emma and the other instructors on Tuesday nights. Children as well as retired folks can be seen darting across the brightly-lit gym with épées in hands, trying to best their opponents.

If you come across this local fencer, be sure to say hello—and if you cross paths at fencing night, maybe you’ll be brave enough to challenge her to a match.


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