Nicely done video on world #4 ranked men’s foil fencer Race Imboden. He’s trying to win gold this summer at the London Games. We’ll be rooting for him and the rest of the men’s foil team from the USA!
Here is part 2 of my thoughts, questions and ideas about the future of our sport. This post is more of a quest for understanding and also bit of insight into how i think about things.
My question is, what are the distinct constituency groups in US fencing that require specific attention, resources, information etc. ?
In my mind, this is a very important question to understand. We have a ton of great pieces that make up fencing in the USA. A philosophy that I try to follow is to understand how all the pieces of a whole work both on their own as well as in concert with the other parts of a whole. I want to know what the right support looks like for each part, what each part contributes and how each can work best with the other portions of the whole to create something that together is greater than the sum of its individual parts.
So, for me is understanding what are the pieces that are “out there” in USA Fencing is critical to my thought process. Here is my list (not ordered for priority)
– Club Owners
– School Fencing Programs (elementary/middle and high school)
– NCAA Fencing Programs
-NCAA Club programs
– Youth Fencing (U-14)
– Youth Teams (Cadet and Jr.)
– Olympic and Senior National Team Programs
– Non-profit fencing programs (Peter Westbrook Foundation, En Garde in Detriot etc)
– Recreational fencers
– Veteran Fencers
– Olympic Alumni
– Parents of fencers
– Equipment vendors and manufacturers
– Paralympic fencing
– Fencing for fitness People
-Financial donors to fencing
Would you say this list is complete and and am I missing anything?
Bonus question, what are the external groups that fencing should keep in mind?
– US Olympic Committee
-NBC and other Sports Channels
-Charitable organizations looking for support
-Schools (college and high schools etc) without fencing teams or clubs
-Financial donors not currently giving to fencing
-FIE (Thanks to Dave for pointing out that I missed the obvious!)
Am I missing anything?
Obviously, the next question is then: how do you support each of these things properly?
To Be Continued…
Sometimes I have a little too much time on my hands during 10 hour flights back-and-forth to Europe for World Cups. With the USA Fencing elections around the corner, it just got me thinking about what fencing in the USA needs to do to grow. The results was a 20-page document that’s very rough which captures my best thinking on what we need to do. I’ll start with the broad overview in this post (since 20 pages usually don’t make for great blog posts!) and in the future I’ll share specifics about how we can get there.
We have one of the greatest sports in the world and the future can (and will) be amazing if we push forward in the right ways. Feedback always welcome.
PS Please “like” me on facebook:
VISION AND ASPIRATIONAL GOALS
BIG GOAL: Create the most effective sport National Governing Body (NGB) in the world.
- Fencing as a regular part of Physical Education across America
- Strongest Performing Olympic Team in the World.
- Strongest Youth Development program focused on sportsmanship, life skills and dreaming big.
- Everyone in the USA has the opportunity to watch fencing on TV or Live.
- Everyone in the country has the access in their area to fencing and knows how to find a place to fence.
- Fencing contributes to the overall society of USA.
- Set big goals
- Synergize the strengths of the programs and people involved in fencing.
- Find the best and most experience people, get them, retain them and put them in the right places to let them drive the development.
- Plan with the end in mind.
- Copy best practices of effective organizations both in sports (Professional and Olympic) and business.
- Embody the mentality of a champion: Never give up when faced with challenges, learn and grow from every experience and strive for excellence in all aspects.
- One million plus children fencing in the USA in school programs
- Gold medal (s) at every Olympic Games
- Four Million plus members of the National Fencing Organization
- Fencing with four plus regular TV broadcasts on network television
- Twenty Million dollars plus annual fundraising and corporate sponsorship
Pattaya, Thailand — The second half of the international fencing season kicked off with the world cup in Thailand. Ben Igoe paced team USA with a 2nd place finish while Tim Morehouse finished 6th. Both fencers bounced back from lackluster performances at the North American Fencing Cup in Virginia Beach to finish strongly.
Rhys Douglas and Mike Etropolski finished in the top-16. Luther Clement, Brad Baker and Ewan Douglas went out in the round of 32. The competition was small due to the political turmoil in the country. only 42 competitors participated.
14 hour flight to Beijing, 3 hour layover, 6 hour flight to Bangkok, overnight stay at airport hotel, 3 hour bus ride to Pattaya….all for about 10-15 minutes of actual business. Some kind of crazy travel torture? Well, yes, but it’s also the resuming of the international fencing schedule as tournaments kick off in Asia this weekend!
So, you want to be an Olympic fencer, ehhh?
USA Fencing National team members are departing for competitions in China and Thailand today. Men’s and women’s foil will be competing in Shanghai, China in a world cup for the women and a Grand Prix event for the men. 2/3 of the men’s saber team, Ben Igoe and Tim Morehouse, along with Mike Etropolski and a number of other USA fencers are heading to Pattaya, Thailand for a world cup. Daryl Homer will remain in NYC to rest after a busy 3 months competing in Junior world cups, college tournaments and senior world cups.You can follow the men’s saber team right here and on my twitter: www.twitter.com/timmorehouse and I’ll try my best to update men and women’s foil via Ambika Singh’s bbms to me!Women’s foil heads from China to Korea following their competition and the men’s saber fencers will head home to prepare for the Spain and Italy World cups 2.5 weeks later. Go Team USA!
Great news just came my way via an email from Fencing Olympian Carl Borack. Keeth and Erinn Smart will be featured in Bud Greenspan’s Beijing Olympic Games documentary! -Tim
From Carl Borack:
To all Fencing enthusiasts:
Bud Greenspan’s latest film on the Beijing will feature 6 American stories when it airs on Showtime on Monday October 19th 7PM Eastern & Pacific Coast Times…Thanks in large part to the encouragement and support of our friend Jeff Bukantz, for the 2nd time in his last two films Greenspan is featuring a fencing story. (Our 2004 Athens film featured the historic victory by Mariel Zagunis). The Beijing film features KEITH AND ERINN SMART and their journey from their early days at the Peter Westbrook Foundation thru to their silver medal wins in Beijing…A family story that we hope will bring further attention to the great sport of Fencing…
SHOWTIME TO PREMIERE
Bud Greenspan Presents: Beijing 2008 – America’s Olympic Glory
Famed Sports Storyteller Chronicles Dramatic Stories of Six American Athletes and Their Quest for Olympic Glory
Monday October 19th at 7:00pm EST and PCT
LOS ANGELES, Ca.
SHOWTIME presents a rare opportunity to relive one of the most dramatic and memorable Olympics in recent history in the original documentary BUD GREENSPAN PRESENTS: BEIJING 2008 – AMERICA’S OLYMPIC GLORY. With behind-the-scenes footage and a poignant narrative, this film presents Greenspan’s signature brand of powerful storytelling set in Beijing, China – a land with a storied past and a vibrant future.
BUD GREENSPAN PRESENTS: BEIJING 2008 – AMERICA’S OLYMPIC GLORY will premiere on Showtime on Monday October 19th starting at 7:00pm EST/PCT. The two hour film features the stories of 6 American Olympians including swim team captain Jason Lezak whose thrilling world best final leg (46.06) in the 4 x 100 Freestyle relay earned the United States an upset victory over France. Gymnast Nastia Liukin, coached by father Valeri, a 1988 gold medalist for the Soviet Union, continued the family’s Olympic tradition by winning the All-Around title 20 years later for the United States. Brenda Villa, a three-time Olympian in water polo, grew up in the Latino community of Commerce, California and captained her team to their third Olympic medal. The Women’s 8-Oared crew had not won at the Olympics since 1984 but returned to greatness in Beijing defeating archrival Romania to capture their long awaited gold medal. Keeth and Erinn Smart, siblings from Brooklyn, New York and students at the Peter Westbrook Foundation since 1991; entered Beijing having overcome the loss of both parents and serious illness to win silver medals in the men’s team saber and women’s team foil competitions. Dawn Harper and Lolo Jones is the emotional story of two hurdlers’ journeys to the same starting line in Beijing and the differing but inspiring results they achieved in the race they had spent a lifetime preparing for.
The film marks the 12th in a series of Olympic Games films by Greenspan and Cappy Productions, Inc. His previous Olympic documentaries beginning with 1984 Summer games in Los Angeles have chronicled every Olympics (except for 1992 Albertville) through the 2006 Torino Winter Games. Greenspan has been called the foremost writer/producer/director of sports films and one of the world’s leading sports historians. His numerous awards include seven Emmys®, the George Foster Peabody Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Directors Guild of America Life Time Achievement Award, the International Fair Play Award and the coveted “Olympic Order” by International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch for his contribution to furthering the Olympic movement. In 2004, Bud was inducted into the United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame for his body of work and his humanistic approach to filming the Olympic Games.
Great news for USA Fencing.
NBC Universal Sports will be carrying the fencing world championships. This is the first time in history that the fencing world championships will be covered either live or on tape delayed on a television network of any kind in the US.
They are still trying to decide if they will carry the events live or if they will tape delay, but the CEO of the network will also be traveling to Turkey so they are certainly taking the event seriously.
The TV listing are still TBD, but you can check back here for times soon:
Of course, you can always just follow the World Championships on my twitter…twitter.com/timmorehouse.
Isn’t that more fun than TV these days?!?! Kidding.
Once the times are posted we will really need to rally our friends and family to watch and create some serious viral buzz. We need a good ratings show to continue getting coverage!
On our athlete end, we need to get ourselves into the medals rounds so we’re the ones people in the US will be watching when they tune into watch the finals!
USA Men’s fencing hasn’t won a world championships in over 70 years…time to remedy that!