Congratulations to Jule Shigihara for being named NJIT’s Athlete of the Week for the first time this year! Shigihara, a junior BS Biology major, loves all the support she has been receiving from the NJIT community. Shigihara first found her love of fencing through her mom, a former fencer herself. When she was a child, Shigihara used to participate in swimming and judo, but she focused on fencing due to the amount of practices she had.
Growing up, Shigihara was able to land a spot in one of the two premier fencing clubs in Germany, OFC Bonn. At OFC Bonn Shigihara trained with some of the best fencers in the world, even mentioning that some fencers in the club were current Olympians.
After graduating high school at the age of 16, Shigihara decided to take a gap year before deciding to accept an athletic scholarship from NJIT. Once she got to NJIT, Shigihara acclimated quickly. As most of the fencing team was filled with international students coming from Europe, she found herself surrounded by people in the same situation as her. Shigihara stated that one of the many benefits of having teammates like these is the food!
Getting exposed to so many different cultures has allowed Shigihara to experience what their way of life is like in their respective countries. Shigihara also expressed that the bus rides to and from games are always filled with memorable moments and that she loves how close the team has become with one another.
On being an athlete, Shigihara enjoys being apart of this unique faction of students. Shigihara admits that the difficult part of being a student-athlete is having to manage her time between homework and fencing competitions, especially with having harder classes as a junior. However, Shigihara greatly appreciated all of the help she has received from the professors and faculty of NJIT.
After reflecting on the past three years of school, Shigihara states that she has grown so much as a person. During this time, Shigihara has learned to become more open and independent. Shigihara also expressed that she does not regret any of her past decisions and is happy with the way her NJIT legacy has turned out. Shigihara wants to thank the NJIT community for all the support they have shown the fencing team.
Visit NJITs Athletic website to find out when the next competition is and to get a chance to see Jule Shigihara in action!