Marotta fencing her way to Tokyo

Emily Marotta isn’t your most conventional athlete but then again fencing isn’t your most conventional sport.

Marotta, a Bachelor of Applied Science student at La Trobe, recently received funding from the Oceanic Fencing Federation in a bid to represent Australia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Marotta describes the sport as “athletics chess” and was introduced to fencing after shifting from gymnastics at age 12.

“I felt like a change and I actually saw a movie called The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan and it had a fencing scene in it and I asked mum if I could try it,” Marotta said.

With no athlete from the Oceanic region represented in the sport at Olympic level since Beijing in 2008, Marotta says the money will be used to be able to travel for international competitions.

“It’s going to assist greatly in terms of being able to travel overseas to compete against the best fencers in the world and that’s one of the main reasons we haven’t had anyone qualify in such a long time is that the competitions leading up to the Olympics are really far away in places like Europe,” Marotta said.

Marotta, who has won five consecutive national open competitions, admitted that learning to deal with her anxiety on competition day has allowed her to become a more consistent athlete.

“I used to struggle a lot with keeping my anxiety and bay while competing but I did sport physiology at uni and it taught me to understand that anxiety isn’t a bad thing.”

“Grasping that concept has been hard and learning that being nervous is okay,” Marotta said.

Marotta says her dream is to just qualify for the Olympics but being able to win a fencing bout would be icing on the cake and she believes being a member of the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program (LEAP) is helping her cause.

“I’m in love with the La Trobe Sport program. I’ve found La Trobe to be great, Renee Frizzell (Sport Development Manager) and the team are so invested in their athletes and are so involved.”

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