Cara Taggersell teaches her daughter Luna, 8, how to fence. Courtesy of Cara Taggersell

A Bowdoinham woman is hoping to spark new interest in an age-old combat sport in the Midcoast.

Cara Taggersell, 33, is opening the Midcoast Fencing Athletic Club at the Topsham Fair Mall next month to teach all ages the art of fencing.

Taggersell discovered fencing when she was 9 and begged her parents for lessons as a Christmas present, she said, adding that the sport gave her a sense of belonging after struggling to fit in at school.

“Through fencing, I gained a lot of confidence. I respected myself more,” Taggersell said. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to make this great sport available to everyone. Fencing is a dynamic Olympic sport that can challenge and cultivate your physical, mental and emotional aptitude, whether you’re 8 or 80. You can pick it up at any age and enjoy it for a lifetime, recreationally or competitively.”

Taggersell is a veteran fencer who has competed nationally. She was a member of the Temple University Division I fencing team and studied under Hall of Fame coach and Olympian Nikki Franke, according to a press release. Taggersell is an international official for USA Fencing and has traveled the globe officiating elite fencing competitions, including the Fencing World Cup.

Taggersell said there is a demand for the sport in Maine but limited places to practice.


Well-known fencing locations include the Portland Fencing Center, where Taggersell studied as a child, and the Down East School of Fencing in Verona.

“I realized that if I want to fence where I live, I need to create my own fencing community,” Taggersell said.

The Midcoast Fencing Athletic Club located at 49 Topsham Fair Mall Road, Suite 22, will open on Sept. 6.

For more information, visit

New signage for the Midcoast Fencing Athletic Club. Courtesy of Cara Taggersell

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