What role do you see fencing coaches playing in the growth of the sport of fencing and where do you see that growth happening?
Proper coaching and quality fencing education is a major and integral part of a fencer’s success on strip. Currently, we are in a great position because we are a FIRST-TIER nation in fencing. This is largely due to the high level of coaching that exists in many different parts of the country. The growth has been consistently present over the past three decades, and as more well trained and educated coaches continue to work here, the stellar results we celebrate each year will continue to come.
How do you envision USA Fencing working with USFCA on the recruitment of NCAA colleges to add fencing teams?
This is already happening. There have been conversations happening for some time now that are focused on the addition of NCAA fencing programs. As we all know, the future success of our sport depends on fencing staying on both the NCAA and Olympic programs. Without a potential collegiate or Olympic future for our youth fencers, our membership will be severely affected. There are many “hot spots” for fencing, areas where there are successful clubs, and where NCAA programs do not exist. The USFCA and USA Fencing are both committed to locating these areas and seeking out athletic administrators, university presidents and other key personnel to ensure that we continue to add fencing programs to the NCAA list.
Except for USA Fencing, NGBs in all major sports organizations require certification and continuing education units every year to teach in their respective sports. Do you support coaching education, training, continuing education, certification and ultimately a licensing requirement for all US Fencing Coaches? Why or Why not?
It is important for us to understand that much of the success we celebrate on the cadet, junior and senior international levels is a result of the dedicated work of the coaches, many of whom obtained their instructional education outside of the United States. I am in full support of proper coaching education, training, continuing education and even certification of fencing coaches who are committed to competitive success on the local, regional, national and international levels. I am also sensitive to recreational coaches, high school coaches, part-time or volunteer coaches, especially in the grassroots areas, and world class coaches who’ve obtained their education elsewhere. These are areas where a licensing requirement may present challenges through which USA Fencing and USFCA can navigate in ultimate support of fencing coaches everywhere.