Skip to main content

Scroll through photos of the IT consultant participating in his favourite sport

1 of 9

Mark Ballard, founder and president of Toronto-based Charter House Consulting Inc., holds an epee and helmet. Mr. Ballard has become one of North America's top-ranked veteran fencers.

CAROLYN BALLARD/COURTESY OF MARK BALLARD

2 of 9

Mark Ballard prepares for battle at a competition held at Brock University. Mr. Ballard, 59, took up fencing in the year before starting university. 'The sports master [gym teacher] gave me a choice – a cross-country run on a cold and wet afternoon or fencing. It was a no-brainer.'

CAROLYN BALLARD

3 of 9

Mark Ballard, wearing blue shoes, in action at a fencing tournament in Montreal in January, 2012. Mr. Ballard spends about half of his weekends every year competing across Canada, the U.S. and around the globe, spending more than $30,000 annually on entry fees and travel, on top of more than $6,000 in spending on equipment.

Heather Maclaren

4 of 9

Mark Ballard, wearing blue shoes, still in action at a fencing tournament in Montreal in January, 2012. Unlike many fencers who concentrate on one weapon, Mr. Ballard competes with all three associated with the sport: foil, sabre and epee. The epee is his favourite.

Heather Maclaren

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 9

Mark Ballard, wearing blue shoes, in action at a fencing tournament in Montreal in January, 2012. Mr. Ballard's competition is all for the glory of bringing home medals (he has about 100) that he estimates cost about $5 each. 'I do get bragging rights,' he points out.

Heather Maclaren

6 of 9

Mark Ballard preparing for a bout. He is currently ranked first in Canada in foil, sabre and épée for 50-plus veterans, and ranks first in foil, second in sabre and third in épée in the 40-plus category. He is also the Canadian/American Master of Arms champion, a title bestowed for success with all three weapons.

Heather Maclaren

7 of 9

An array of Mark Ballard’s equipment used in fencing. He has about $6,000 invested in equipment, including a complete set of fencing whites -- jacket, breeches and sous-plastron -- as well as mask, weapons, tool kit and a Canadian Fencing Federation national team track suit.

MARK BALLARD

8 of 9

Medal winnings: Mark Ballard has earned more than 100 medals. He hangs those signifying noteworthy victories around the neck of a bull statuette in his home.

MARK BALLARD

9 of 9

More medal winnings by Mark Ballard. They are usually stored in a wooden wine case in a closet.

MARK BALLARD

Report an error