New Brunswick lightsaber group looks to expand 'the force'

Brad Doucette regularly takes Star Wars fandom to the next level. He says interest has grown in the lightsabre group he started five years ago and now he's developing an after-school program that would introduce more kids to the force.

Brad Doucette developed an after-school program to help kids who feel like geeks to stand proud

The East Coast Sabers group meets every Friday evening at Kingswood Park in Fredericton. (CBC )

Brad Doucette regularly takes Star Wars fandom to the next level.

Every week, he gathers with a group of lightsaber enthusiasts, both young and old, to practice an intergalactic array of Jedi moves. 

Doucette started East Coast Sabers five years ago in Fredericton, inspired by years of watching the Star Wars films.

He says interest has grown in the group and now he's developing an after-school program that would introduce more kids to 'the force.'
Brad Doucette, who formed East Coast Sabers five years ago, says its members are proud to be 'geeks.' (CBC)

He wants any child who feels like they're a geek to stand proud.  

"That may have been a derogatory term many years ago, but we are all proud to be geeks," said Doucette

The activity appears to take a page from fencing and martial arts. Doucette teaches different saber positions and the group performs in the community. 
Thomas Whittaker has been a member ever since the group was formed. (CBC)

Thomas Whittaker, 16, has been a member since the group formed.

"I feel more confident just walking around. It affects my everyday life," Whittaker said. 

Ten-year-old Avery Ramey recently attended East Coast Sabers for the first time.  
Avery Ramey tried out the group for the first time recently. (CBC)

"I love that you feel the power as if you're the chosen one. Anakin Skywalker, or Luke Skywalker or Leia. You just feel the power and the force," Ramey said. 

Doucette hopes the popularity of the new Star Wars film will keep people interested in the group, as he continues to introduce more kids to the ways of the Jedi.

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