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USA Fencing Leadership Academy Accepting Applications for Class of 2023 Until Aug. 26, 2022

08/12/2022, 4:30pm CDT
By Bryan Wendell

The Leadership Academy is the perfect opportunity for anyone interesting in a deep dive into the inner workings of USA Fencing — covering topics like refereeing, membership, event planning, governance, DEIB, international events, SafeSport and much more.

A group of Leadership Academy graduates, holding their certificates, smiles for the camera.

A group of Class of 2021 and 2022 Leadership Academy graduates, including (from left): Maggie Newell, Juan Ignacio Calderon, Maggie Dull, Patricia Dykes, Charles Wemple, Jennifer Yamin, Simon Pitfield, Selina Kaing and Nicholas Going.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Fencing Leadership Academy, which provides educational and training opportunities to those interested in serving in volunteer leadership roles within the USA Fencing organization, is accepting applications for the Class of 2023.

The Leadership Academy is the perfect opportunity for anyone interesting in a deep dive into the inner workings of USA Fencing — covering topics like refereeing, membership, event planning, governance, DEIB, international events, SafeSport and much more.

Applications are open now, and the deadline to apply for the 10-month program is Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.

Ever since the first class in 2021, the Leadership Academy has been committed to developing a diverse cadre of leaders of the future — helping ensure that USA Fencing remains strong, diverse and equitable for decades to come.

Those who are selected to join the 20-person Class of 2023 will attend a series of monthly moderated training sessions, each lasting three hours.

The first session will be held in September 2022, and the 10th and final session is scheduled for June 2023 (full schedule below). Graduates will be honored in person at the 2023 Summer Nationals in Phoenix.

Candidates may apply using the link below or be proposed by the DEI group, the Board of Directors or staff members at the national office. The goal with the final class of 20 is to have a group diversified by age, race, religion, gender, level of fencing and as many other elements as possible.  

Selection criteria will include ability to commit to attendance and participation in the entire program, interest in the governance of USA Fencing and current activity in the sport. Candidates are required to attend 80% of the sessions in order to graduate.

Schedule and Curriculum for the Class of 2023

Sept. 14, 2022:  Short History of Fencing in the U.S. Review of documents governing fencing, including, e.g., Articles of incorporation, Bylaws, Athlete’s Handbook, Strategic Plan, Ted Stevens Amateur and Olympic Sports Act. Introduction to the operations of USA Fencing, including a “day in the life” of a staff member and the coordination between departments.

Oct. 19, 2022: (1) USA Fencing's governance and operational structure (the NGB system and the existence and roles of National Office, Board of Directors - their expectations and requirements for nomination, committees and resource teams, divisions, regionalization, etc.; (2) USA Fencing's relationship to and with other organizations (FIE, USOPC, USADA/WADA, IWAS and IOC); and (3) US SEMI and Sports Medicine.

Nov. 16, 2022: Refereeing led by Chair of Referees’ Commission (RC), including domestic and international development, rules, domestic and international assignments and a presentation from USA Fencing past and present members of FIE Rules and Arbitrage.  It shall include discussion of the Referee Code of Ethics and procedure for handling breaches of the Code. 

Dec. 21, 2022: (1) USAFencing Finances led by CFO, Treasurer and the Director of Development along with other members of Budget or Audit Committee and a member of the Marketing and communication Resource Team.  (2) A discussion of Roberts Rules of Order.

Jan. 18, 2023:  USA Fencing and USOPC International programs led by Senior Director of Sports Performance, a USOPC representative, a National Coach, and an International Team Manager including a discussion of the funding opportunities for athletes.

Feb. 15, 2023:  All the elements that go into the presentation of USAFencing hosted International Events, Senior Director of Sports Operations, USAFencing Chief of Protocol and a DT president.

March 15, 2023: Ethics and Discipline, Safe Sport and DEI led by Chair of Ethics committee, FenceSafe coordinator, Member of DEI group, Member of of FIE Safeguarding and General Counsel.

April 19, 2023: Youth fencing programs and development of youth fencing at the club level led by members of the Youth Development Resource Team and USA Fencing staff liaison for youth programming.  

May 17, 2023: (1) Site selection of operating USA Fencing domestic events led by Senior Director of Sports Operations, senior events manager and head of tournament committee. (2) Veterans and Para-fencing programs led by USA Fencing’s member of the FIE Veteran’s council, USA Fencing veterans’ committee and Paralympic Committee.

June 21, 2023: (1) Membership led by Director of Member Services, and heads of committees for clubs, high school, colleges and grass roots programming.  What are the opportunities for participants in this program?  (2) Presentation by a member of the group selecting members of committees and resource teams about how to apply for committee positions.

July 2023: Leadership Academy graduation at Summer Nationals in Phoenix (exact date/time to be finalized)

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