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.
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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.