April 24, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Photo courtesy of Riyaz Jaberi (far left)

King’s Economics, Business & Math student Riyaz Jaberi discovered a flair for fencing at the age of nine after an extensive recovery from a knee injury. In hopes that training would strengthen his leg, Jaberi gave fencing a shot and quickly fell in love with the sport. Almost 12 years later, Jaberi’s passion for the sport has earned him a spot on the Mustangs fencing team.

When Jaberi’s family moved to London from Kuwait in 2009, all of his fencing equipment was left behind until further arrangements could be made. A year later, Jaberi reunited with his fencing gear and eagerly headed over to Western’s Recreation Centre to learn about Western’s varsity fencing coaches. Since Jaberi was not in university at the time, he joined an off-campus team to get back into shape.

In 2011, Jaberi began studying financial economics at King’s and joined the Mustangs fencing team. Adjusting to life as a university student, Jaberi was happy to meet other fencing athletes who quickly made him feel part of the team.

“My favourite part of being with the Mustangs fencing team is that feeling of family that it has. The team is so welcoming and my teammates and coaches have always showed their support ever since my first practice,” says Jaberi. “Our trips to tournaments outside of London, especially the bus rides together and sharing hotel rooms, has probably been the best part of it all.”

As this year’s Foil team captain, Jaberi led his team in the OUA Men’s Fencing Championships, ranking 11th in the individual events and 7th overall in the team events. Jaberi also fenced in two open tournaments this past school year, where he placed 10th overall at the Brock Open last November, and ranked 6th overall at the York OCC this past January.

While Jaberi was in high school, he stumbled upon the same challenges that many student athletes face; choosing a university that offers a world-class education on top of a varsity sports team. Luckily for Jaberi, King’s provided the perfect student experience. With unique programs, small class-sizes, a close-knit community, and an affiliation with Western’s Mustangs, Jaberi found his new home.

Jaberi’s advice for high school student athletes exploring universities is to “go after your dreams and see what you can do to get on the team.” It also takes a lot of work to achieve your dreams. Jaberi trained with the team in the off-season so that he could get to know his future teammates before starting university.

Over the summer break, Jaberi plans to attend summer school and participate in fencing summer camps in the area. After graduation, Jaberi hopes to have a career working in the financial industry or corporate world either in Canada or in Kuwait.

To learn more about the Mustangs fencing team, please visit www.westernmustangs.ca/index.aspx?path=fencing&tab=fencing