skip navigation

DEIB Awards

You've found the page for our USA Fencing DEIB Awards. The awards outlined on this page recognize USA Fencing member clubs for their efforts to ensure fencing is a welcoming and inclusive sport for all.

Scroll down to find the award listings for:

  • The Peter Westbrook Trailblazer Award
  • The Mariel Zagunis Women's Advancement Award
  • The Leszek “Maestro” Stawicki Parafencing Athlete Development Award
  • The ASPIRE Award

2023 DEIB Awards Schedule

  • March 2023: Applications available
  • June 2023: Winners selected
  • June 30-July 9, 2023: Winners honored at 2023 Summer Nationals

Peter Westbrook Trailblazer Award

This award highlights fencing clubs who are demonstrating an outstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by increasing access to the sport of fencing.

Award Background/History

This award was created in recognition of Peter Westbrook and his dedication to creating access for youth from underserved communities into the sport of fencing. Westbrook is a legendary American saber fencer who was a member of every U.S. Olympic team from 1976 through 1996. He’s the first African American person to win an Olympic medal in the sport of fencing — a bronze at the 1984 Olympics.

In 1991, Westbrook founded the Peter Westbrook Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that uses fencing to enrich the lives of young people from under-resourced communities in the New York metropolitan area. To date, his organization has served more than 4,000 participants and has helped develop many USA Fencing World Champions and Olympians. Some of his notable fencers include Ibtihaj Muhammad, Daryl Homer, Yeisser Ramirez, Nzingha Prescod, Erinn and Keeth Smart, and many other decorated athletes. 

It is our hope that this award inspires fencing clubs to be trailblazers in the advancement and growth of our sport. We encourage clubs to support the mission of our organization by implementing innovative programming that expands access to the sport of fencing in your local communities. 

Award Description

The award is granted to fencing clubs on the basis of their commitment to creating access for all individuals to enjoy the sport of fencing. Priority consideration is given to clubs who are intentional in engaging with populations who have been historically underrepresented in the sport of fencing.

Eligibility

  • Be a USA Fencing member club.
  • Have exhibited and sustained efforts toward engaging in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Selection Criteria

Members of the Awards and Recognition subcommittee of the USA Fencing DEIB Committee will review applications and vote on a winner. 

Nominees will be evaluated per the following criteria:

Base of Operations—demonstrates emerging or sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for youth from underserved or under- resourced communities, proportionate to their capacity to do so (for example, some clubs with larger membership and funding may be able to perform this service more visibly than those with smaller membership). 

Scope & Effort—demonstrates exceptional efforts beyond the general scope of a club to eliminate barriers to entry into the sport of fencing; promotes an environment free of bias and discrimination; advances goals of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for the advancement of youth. 

Impact—demonstrates that their efforts to create access into the sport of fencing have resulted in positive outcomes that benefit participants, the community at large, and have a potential to serve as a model for the establishment of other programs or activities.

Mariel Zagunis Women's Advancement Award

Award Background/History

This award was created in recognition of Mariel Zagunis and her tremendous contributions to women’s advancement in the sport of fencing. Zagunis is a decorated American saber fencer who is a five-time Olympian, four-time Olympic medalist (two golds, two bronzes). She’s the first American fencer to medal at three Olympic games (2004, 2008 and 2016)

In addition to her outstanding career as an athlete, Zagunis supports the development of the next generation of women saber fencers through her work with the Robert Zagunis Family Foundation. 

Award Description

This award honors fencing clubs that have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the advancement of women in the sport of fencing. Particularly, this award is given to clubs that are intentional with the engagement and development of women as fencers, coaches and future leaders. 

Eligibility 

  • Be a USA Fencing member club.

  • Have exhibited and sustained efforts toward engaging in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging

Selection Criteria

Members of the Awards and Recognition subcommittee of the USA Fencing DEIB Committee will review applications and vote on a winner. 

Nominees will be evaluated per the following criteria:

Base of Operations—demonstrates emerging or sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for the advancement of women in the sport of fencing, proportionate to their capacity to do so (for example, some clubs with larger membership and funding may be able to perform this service more visibly than those with smaller membership).. 

Scope & Effort—demonstrates exceptional efforts beyond the general scope of a club to eliminate barriers to entry and advancement for women in the sport of fencing; promotes an environment free of bias and discrimination. 

Impact—demonstrates that their efforts for the advancement of women in the sport of fencing have resulted in positive outcomes that benefit participants, the community at large, and have a potential to serve as a model for the establishment of other programs or activities.

Leszek “Maestro” Stawicki Parafencing Athlete Development Award

Award Background/History

This award was developed in recognition of Maestro Les Stawicki and his commitment to advancing the sport of parafencing. Stawicki has had a successful career serving as former Head Coach of the Ukrainian Saber Team and served as the Head Coach of the Polish National and Olympic Teams from 1972-1990. 

In 1992, Stawicki established the Louisville Fencing Center and was very instrumental in developing and growing the parafencing program. He served as head coach for the U.S. Parafencing team at every Paralympic Games since the team's creation in 1996. Some of his notable fencers include Susan Benson, Terri Cecil-Ramsey, Sean Shumate, Cat Bouwkamp, Lauryn DeLuca, and many others. 

It is our hope that this award inspires fencing clubs to develop or engage fencers in safe and inclusive environments that are wheelchair accessible. In the spirit of supporting the growth of parafencing, while clubs may be limited with their facilities, we encourage clubs to expose and engage individuals with disabilities in your local communities to the sport of fencing. 

Award Description

This award honors fencing clubs that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the advancement of parafencing in their local communities and have produced athletes that have competed for the USA Parafencing National Team.

This award is given to clubs that are intentional with the engagement and development of disabled athletes as parafencers, coaches and future leaders. 

Eligibility 

  • Be a USA Fencing member club.

  • Have exhibited and sustained efforts toward engaging in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging

  • Have produced athletes that have competed for the USA Parafencing National Team

Selection Criteria 

Members of the Awards and Recognition subcommittee of the USA Fencing DEIB Committee will review applications and vote on a winner. 

Nominees will be evaluated per the following criteria:

Base of Operations—demonstrates emerging or sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for the advancement of parafencing, proportional to their capacity to do so (for example, some clubs with larger membership and funding may be able to perform this service more visibly than those with smaller membership).

Scope & Effort—demonstrates exceptional efforts beyond the general scope of a club to eliminate barriers to entry and advancement for parafencers; promotes an environment free of bias and discrimination. 

Impact—demonstrates that their efforts for the advancement of parafencers have resulted in positive outcomes that benefit participants, the community at large, and have a potential to serve as a model for the establishment of other programs or activities.

The ASPIRE Award

Award Description

This award honors fencing clubs for their commitment to creating access for Persons with disabilities to enjoy the sport of fencing. USA Fencing is passionate about advocating on behalf of athletes with disabilities (both visible and invisible), and this award seeks to inspire clubs to create safe and inclusive spaces for all disabled athletes. 

Eligibility 

  • Be a USA Fencing member club.

  • Have exhibited and sustained efforts toward engaging in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging

Selection Criteria 

Members of the Awards and Recognition subcommittee of the USA Fencing DEIB Committee will review applications and vote on a winner. 

Nominees will be evaluated per the following criteria:

Base of Operations—demonstrates emerging or sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for Persons with disabilities, proportionate to their capacity to do so (for example, some clubs with larger membership and funding may be able to perform this service more visibly than those with smaller membership). 

Scope & Effort—demonstrates exceptional efforts beyond the general scope of a club to eliminate barriers to entry into the sport of fencing; promotes an environment free of bias and discrimination; advances goals of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for the advancement of Persons with disabilities. 

Impact—demonstrates that their efforts to create access into the sport of fencing have resulted in positive outcomes that benefit participants, the community at large, and have a potential to serve as a model for the establishment of other programs or activities.