Leon Head Shot

Life Membership – Leon Thomas

At the Australian Fencing Federation Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 28 May 2023, the member states voted in favour, to award Life Membership to Leon Thomas from South Australia. Leon has demonstrated unwavering support and dedication to Fencing in Australia and the Oceanic region.

He has been involved and has contributed to the development of fencing in Australia for 58 years as a competitor, volunteer, coach, Team manager, Technical support manager and mentor to many fencers both at State, National and International levels.  He is well respected amongst his peers and colleagues.

Leon began his fencing career in 1965 at The Swords Club in Sydney, NSW.  He was coached by Joan Beck and as a fencer has represented NSW, SA, and Australia at many National and International competitions. As an athlete he was successful and one of a few to represent and make the podium internationally as an Australian team member in all 3 weapons.

On moving to South Australia, he became an active fencing member of the Adelaide Swords club and volunteered in that club’s committee in a range of positions including a stint as President.  Leon began his coaching career in the 1980s going onto to coach at a club level, before becoming SA State coach and the State Development officer. His coaching career has continued in SA, WA and for the AFF.

Leon was employed for many years by the AFF as a coach and manager specialising in coaching and mentoring under twenty-year-old fencers and teams at national and international events. He still plays an active role as a coach and mentor in SA.

Leon is currently employed as the Development Officer for the Oceania Fencing Federation where he has played an instrumental role in introducing and developing fencing as a sport in many of the Oceania countries including Western Samoa, American Samoa, Guam, Fiji and PNG. Leon has also worked alongside coaching colleagues in New Zealand through Oceania Fencing Confederation to develop and extend the knowledge of coaches in the region.

Leon has held significant event management positions including the Field of play Manager at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

His passion for the sport, his role as athlete, coach and mentor over the past 58 years continues in his role in advocating and developing fencing as a sport and with his continued support for fencers of all levels whether they be emerging, high performance or veteran.

It is with great respect the Australian Fencing Federation bestows this honour upon Leon and we look forward to his continued energies and determinations to bring and build fencing to world.

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