Generation Grit: Former gangster channels love for fighting into fencing

Mr Lim Wei Wen grew up in a broken family. He fell in with the wrong crowd and joined a gang. While studying at the Institute of Technical Education, he was introduced to fencing and that changed his life.
While Mr Lim Wei Wen was studying at the Institute of Technical Education, he trained every day and was spotted at a competition by former national coach Alexey Karpov, who later became his mentor and gave him a new purpose in life.
While Mr Lim Wei Wen was studying at the Institute of Technical Education, he trained every day and was spotted at a competition by former national coach Alexey Karpov, who later became his mentor and gave him a new purpose in life.ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

Self-confessed 'ah beng' turned national athlete Lim Wei Wen found a new life in the sport. This is the latest in a series of resilient millennials who defied the odds.

Mr Lim Wei Wen, 34, initially mistook the sport of fencing for the act of building fences.

The self-confessed "ah beng" was studying automotive technology at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Balestier when he was asked if he was keen to try out fencing as a co-curricular activity.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'Former gangster channels love for fighting into fencing'. Print Edition | Subscribe