New Stars


CHAN Ching-sze Cizzy

In recent years, fencing has been in the spotlight in Hong Kong, thanks to CHEUNG Ka-long Edgar, the city’s “Fencing God”, who claimed gold in the men's individual foil event at the Olympics. On the night of finals, people in this city did nothing but concentrated on watching live broadcasts of the events, bearing witness to the moment when Edgar secured the victory. Cizzy was no exception. Edgar’s journey to Gold had aroused her interest in fencing, making her determined to pursue dreams and ambitions. She later fulfilled her goal of becoming an epee fencer in the Hong Kong women’s squad. From there, Cizzy fought her way with an indomitable spirit despite repeated defeats, culminating with her first medal.

Rekindling the Bond: Rediscovering Fencing

Cizzy had developed a very special bond with fencing in her early years, when she was far away from home in England. She performed remarkably well in her debut competition by winning a merit award in her school’s foil tournament. This exciting and funny first experience left an unforgettable memory on her. One of her friends just so happened to be a former member of the Hong Kong squad, and later encouraged her to pick up the sport. That was how Cizzy got into fencing. Deeply inspired by Edgar’s story, she made up her mind to become an epee fencer.

A Mentor and a Friend: Mutual Understanding and Cherishing

Cizzy has received formal training in fencing for over two years now. She joked that her family members and friends have still found it hard to believe that she has become a fencer. “To be honest, they did not give me full support on day one, for they considered it extremely difficult to become a professional athlete. They thought I would never fight to the death to pursue dreams. However, I started my formal training and had gradually some notable successes, which eventually changed their perceptions and opinions. Now, they are my most loyal fans!” Cizzy was heartened by the steadfast support of the friend who introduced her to professional fencing and has now become her coach. She spoke of her coach with candour, who was usually a gentle and graceful person, but could become stern and hard on the court, demanding a great deal from her. That said, it was the strength and power of such unwavering support and encouragement from her coach that offered her resilience to the challenges in her athletic career.

Persisting to the End where Efforts Pay off

Becoming a professional athlete in Hong Kong is far from easy. In fact, Cizzy's journey in epee fencing has been beset by challenges. There were times of injuries, setback and disappointment, making her susceptible to the ideas of giving up. Thanks to her coach’s superb guidance and great teachings on how to enhance physical fitness, techniques and mindset, she managed to stay focused on her purpose and persevere through all the challenges.

“I see my coach as both a mentor and a friend. It was exactly because of him that I chose to pursue fencing in the first place. We share lots of unforgettable memories. In a match, I would not have been able to turn the tables on opponents without his on-the-spot guidance. The Asia Veteran Fencing Championships in the United Arab Emirates in 2023 remains a vivid and cherished memory. Our team had been at a disadvantage in the beginning. Thanks to our coach’s on-the-spot guidance, we managed to advance to the quarter-finals. Although we eventually did not make it to the finals, we still came home with a bronze medal. It was truly a fond and memorable experience throughout my life.” Cizzy’s bronze medal at her debut for Hong Kong in Asia was of great significance to her athletic career.

Devising Effective Strategies, Striving for Improvements

Cizzy frankly expressed that she never expected to have travelled this far in her journey to becoming a professional athlete. She mentioned that she was so nervous and overwhelmed at her debut that she failed to concentrate on the competition, rendering her unable to perform her best. No wonder she ended up failing terribly. Fencing is a competitive sport that requires an exceptionally high degree of intelligence and physical strength. Every match is a one-on-one battle where you can only stand on your own feet. It is imperative not only to make sound judgement on the spot and execute various strategies as necessary, but also to observe in detail how the situation is unfolded. “The coach always reminds us to ‘observe, observe, and observe.’ No matter how skilful you are, you are just putting yourself at a disadvantage if you fail to keep observing your opponent. Therefore, being observant is absolutely crucial for victory.” Cizzy pointed out it was only after practising fencing that she learnt the reasons of the importance of paying attention to small details. Besides, fencers have to develop to become equally competent in physical fitness and skills. Adequate pre-match preparation and formulation of offensive and defensive strategies are just as important. Cizzy thinks that there is still much room for improvement in her ability to observe and in many other aspects.

Gearing up for and Embracing the Challenges Ahead

Looking forward, Cizzy hopes that she can participate in more events to accumulate valuable competition experience. She is convinced that where there is a will, there is a way. She thinks that, with all the rigorous training, she will be able to secure the top-four spot in the national league next year. To achieve this, she has planned to increase the frequency of her training to three or four days a week and delve into the videos of past competitions to draw lessons from failures and from successes, and particularly from those formidable opponents who have a deft hand at controlling on the court, in a bid to overcome her own weaknesses. Cizzy has set her next target of winning gold in the Master A Women’s Epee in the LCSD Open Fencing Championships by giving it all. In addition, she will also seek more opportunities to participate in open division matches, with the aim of exchanging ideas with and learning from top fencers. It is her ultimate goal to follow in the footsteps of Edgar and emerge as a world-renowned fencer.