A professional fencer will soon be returning to his alma mater.
On Thursday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 17, from noon to 2 p.m., national and Olympic sabre fencer Daryl Homer will return to P.S. 21, to hold fencing clinics for the students at the school on 715 E. 225th Street.
The fencing clinics will introduce students to a sport that has given Homer so many life skills and taught him so many life lessons.
P.S. 21 students will also receive fencing advice and tips while learning to master technical skills necessary for fencing from Daryl himself.
Homer, who graduated from P.S. 21 in 2001, was originally born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and raised on East 213th Street and White Plains Road.
He started fencing at the age of 11 after reading about the sport in a dictionary when he was five-years old and begging his mother to let him take lessons after seeing a picture of a cool-looking man in Knickers, a jacket and a mask.
He eventually attended St. John’s University, where he received a scholarship in fencing and graduated in 2013.
As a professional fencer, Daryl has competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and is currently training to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
He is also a world champion medalist, a two-time NCAA champion, national champion, World Cup medalist, Grand Prix finalist and Zonal Champion in fencing.
As his fencing career took off, Homer looked up to his role model, Keeth Smart, a US sabre fencer who won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Since the two have met and become good friends, Smart has given Homer great advice for his career, which also transformed into life lessons.
The life lessons that Homer has obtained from fencing include strategies involving discipline, resiliency and patience. They have all had a positive effect on him as a person, according to Daryl.
Now, almost a decade and a half after moving on from P.S. 21, Homer returns to teach students who are in the same position as he was when he attended the school.
“It feels great to be returning to my alma mater where I can teach students about fencing - a sport that has had a great effect on my life,” said Homer.
“Of course I have gained a lot of knowledge regarding the sport itself, but I also learned very valuable lessons that have helped me in all aspects of my life. I want to pass on that knowledge to these students so they can appreciate the sport and understand the influence that it had on me as a fencer and a person - hopefully my story will inspire each of them in their own way.”