The fall semester has started, and with it our annual beginners fencing
course in my University sports clubs fencing section. Yesterday, we had 15
fencers training - best figure in 6 years! The fencing at my University has
been in a slow downward slide for 3 years which was accentuated by several
graduations/injuries/burnouts last year. The start of this season, however,
shows an strong upward trend which I want to conserve. I am now taking care of
the fencing here, and I would appreciate some help/good ideas from you on
r.s.f. I have read the FAQ, but I think my club is in such a different
position compared to what US. clubs seem to have so my questions are
warranted. First some background facts, and then various questions.
Competition: We only fence epee, and will continue so until some freshman who
knows foil/sabre begins - not anytime soon. We compete usually two times a
year, one local and one regional championship. A few times we have been to the
Swedish Natls, with very limited sucess.
Trainers: Two of us, neither has a formal fencing masters degree - we teach
what has been taught to us during the years. Maria (the other trainer) har
5yrs experience and has taught kids to fence for 1 yr. I have 8 yrs experience
and have taught 2 20 yr-olds to fence for slightly more than 0.5 yrs.
Facilities: We have access to one part of the indoor sports hall, big enough
for 4 pistes (5 if you cram) Thu. 2100-2300 and Sun. 1900-2000. We wont have
the means to buy our own house for a salle in the foreseeable future. :-(
Organization: The University sports club (HIF) consists of 19 sections of
which fencing is one of the smallest. The balance between sectional and
club-wide decisions is about right.
Money: We get a small amount from HIF, approx 200$ a year. We dont (sofar)
charge members anything above what they have paid to the club centrally.
Until now unlimited loans of equipment and weapons by members have been
allowed. We dont pay anything for our floor use, nor will anytime soon. We
are going to start searching for sponsors. When we compete against military
teams the army foots the bill, they are the prime sponsor of Sw. fencing and
the Army General is a great fencing fan.
Equipment: We have 13-18 useful weapons, about the same number of jackets and
masks, somewhat fewer gloves. 2 sets of spools/box/floor cord, no copper mats.
We have no dedicated repair room, that is usually done in the salle. Our
storage facilities are bursting.
Recruitment: Each fall semester a beginners course is started, we usually get
somewhat fewer than 10 beginners of which 2-3 stay on and keep fencing for at
least one year. We usually get 1 freshman every other year who has fenced
before. Since Swedish universities are legally prohibited to admit students
based on anything else than scholastic aptitude, we cannot have a pro team
even if it were a financially viable option. We are located in the least
fencing-developed part of Sweden. We have currently a 9/6 women/men ratio in
the fencing section.
Got this far? Thanks, that was a lot of bandwidth. :-(
1. How shall we give good lessons despite the lack of formal training?
2. Are there any net resources dedicated to fencing lessons/training?
3. This is the 1st time I train women. Is there anything special to think
about, and if so what?
4. How shall we make optimal use of limited space, both during lessons and
5. Those of you who are members of University clubs, what do you think about
that - general question!
6. How much gross income/member and year is normal/necessary if salle costs
7. What is the common membership fee in USA Universty clubs?
8. How many club weapons/member does one need? The same question for misc.
9. What is a good right/left ratio on weapons and jackets?
10. The ratio beginners/continuers has been too high so far in our club. Any
ideas on how to keep on more beginners?
11. Is there any other club out there with more women than men? Just out of
12. Is ther any glaring omission in our club or my description? Fill in what
you think is missing.
Have a nice time, and thanks for bearing with me so long!