WHAT IS FENCING?
Fencing is the sport of swordplay, it is one of only four sports to be contested at every modern Olympic Games. Fondly referred to as “physical chess,” fencing is a contest of mental agility that involves the mind, body, and spirit of the player.
IS IT SAFE?
YES! Modern fencing has rigorous safety standards for equipment. Even more importantly, fencing technique strengthens bones and muscles while minimizing stress on tissues, making fencing one of the safest and healthiest Olympic sports. Fencing in the Schools uses specialized ‘Instant Fencing ’ fencing equipment to further improve the ease and safety of the equipment, and create an even more enjoyable experience for young fencers.
HOW DOES OUR PROGRAM WORK?
In order to be highly scalable, the Fencing in the Schools introductory program does not provide teachers. Instead, we provide professional development for one or more teachers on-site at a school to teach fencing using our FITS guidebook and our specially designed ‘Instant Fencing’ equipment so that fencing can become a safe and fun part of the school’s curriculum long-term. We pair each school with an Olympian, who conducts a program kick-off that includes motivational messages for students on ‘going for the Gold’ in sports, school, and life. The program is designed as a 6 week unit on fencing, with 8 lessons taught by a physical education teacher, an opening assembly by a member of the US Olympic team, and a closing tournament. We provide all equipment, including shipping costs. Equipment is returned to us at the end of the program, refitted, repaired, and replaced if necessary, and will be shipped back to the school the following year.
What Ages/grades is the FITS program for?
The curriculum is appropriate and adaptable for grades 3-12.
HOW LONG IS THE PROGRAM?
The program is designed as 8 lessons in fencing taught over the course of 6 weeks. The lessons are divided up into discrete skills with associated exercises and activities so that the curriculum can be easily adapted to the needs of individual schools, teachers, and classes. The curriculum can be repeated over multiple years with new students, and second and third year curricula are also available.
HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?
The Fencing in the Schools introductory program costs $5,000 for the initial year, and $3,500 for all subsequent years. Additional fees apply for schools with more than 500 participating students, class sizes larger than 32 students, and programs that run longer than 6 weeks. This price includes all equipment for the duration of the program, professional development for teachers, access to the curriculum and supplementary materials, a Go for the Gold Olympic Assembly by a designated Athlete Ambassador, access to Fencing in the Schools support staff, and introduction and access to the local fencing community.
Fencing in the Schools has established a Regions program that can bring these costs down by as much as half. Joining a Fencing in the Schools Region allows schools to distribute equipment and travel costs by sharing equipment and training sessions. Each designated Fencing in the Schools Region will have a local coordinator hired by Fencing in the Schools to manage these logistics.
We also offer discounts for pairs of schools in the same area that coordinate dates for assemblies and training.
WHAT IF MY SCHOOL CAN’T AFFORD THE PROGRAM?
Fencing in the Schools is committed to bringing fencing to children across the country regardless of their financial resources or that of their school. We partner with schools to create effective fundraising campaigns through the school’s local networks, the national fencing community, and, potentially, large donors. If you would like to apply for a fundraising campaign, please contact us at email@example.com.
Additionally, we have seen great success with independent crowd sourcing fundraisers. Fencing in the Schools uses crowdrise.com to run drives to fund individual programs.
DOES FENCING HELP IN COLLEGE?
YES! Fencing demonstrates the kind of discipline and commitment looked for by college admissions officers, so fencing on all levels can help you get into college. For the competitively minded, there are 42 Schools with NCAA varsity fencing programs (full list), and a similar number of competitive club programs. Institutions with NCAA fencing teams include top schools such as Stanford, Nortre Dame, Duke, and most of the Ivy League. There are also many scholarships available for fencing, so it can not only help students get into college, it can also help pay for it!