Richard Emmerick's contributions to fencing have been recognised at the NSW Community Sports Awards.
The founder of the Mountains Fencing Club, received a Distinguished Long Service Award in November.
The Woodford man formed the club in 1994, which now boasts more than 100 fencers; membership doubling in the past year.
Emmerick puts the membership boom down to kids and adults looking for an individual sport rather than a team sport during the coronavirus pandemic, and people becoming more aware of the club which trains out of the Lawson community hall three times a week.
The sport relies heavily on analytical skills.
"Fencing has to do with tactics - knowing your own game and technical skills and assessing your own opponent," Emmerick said.
He first took up the sport in 1962, looking for "something that you have to use your brain for."
"It's like a game of chess, but in one 25th of a second," the 72 year old said.
At the Mountains club they use three types of sword: the epee, foil and sabre.
Emmerick had a competitive fencing career, and introduced the sport at Blaxland High School where he was working as a history and geography teacher. The students wanted more of the sport so he decided to form the club and moved into a coaching role.
He has also served as NSW state foil coach and assistant national epee coach, training individual fencers - including two national title winners and three who represented Australia - and managed teams at national events.
Sport NSW chairperson, Carolyn Campbell said Emmerick was a worthy award recipient.
"Sport in NSW relies on people such as Richard who have voluntarily dedicated their time over many decades. Put simply, sport would not exist without them. It is fitting these Distinguished Long Service Award recipients are recognised and honoured," she said.
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