Long Island University coaches Ivan Lee OLY and Dwight Smith. (Photo by Lisa Campi-Sapery)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s a simple formula: Great coaches make great fencers. But these coaches don’t have to do it alone.
In that spirit, USA Fencing is proud to announce the launch of the Coach Education and Professional Development program (CEPD), coming in the 2023-24 membership season. This comprehensive initiative is designed to create a sustainable education program that benefits the entire fencing community. That means valuable resources, training and support for coaches, fencers and clubs.
The CEPD program will help coaches by offering educational materials, tools and best practices to help them develop fencers. In turn, athletes will benefit from an enhanced fencing environment that maximizes their growth, development and enjoyment of the sport.
Clubs will appreciate that the program will strengthen their risk management systems in light of fluctuating insurance costs, thereby reducing risk for the sport of fencing.
The CEPD program will benefit all members of the community:
The CEPD program will include a monthly online speaker series, in-person educational sessions at select NACs, a continuation of the Women Coach Mentor Program, access to a new Learning Management System called “FenceLab,” and collaboration with the USOPC, other NGBs, and external organizations for education and professional development.
Starting in the 2023-24 membership season, all USA Fencing Coach members will have access to coach training modules within “FenceLab.” Some modules will be required. Exemptions from some modules will apply to those with verified certifications, former and current NCAA head and assistant coaches, and former and current National Team coaches. A full breakdown of the exemptions will be published in the upcoming weeks.
As part of the long-term plan, coaches will be required to complete four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) after completing the Foundations course in year one. A Continuing Education Steering Group will be formed to guide coach development and continuing education, with the goal of developing pathways for coach development and informing educational materials.
The launch of the CEPD program marks a significant milestone in USA Fencing's commitment to supporting the growth and development of coaches, athletes and clubs. In conjunction with our newly minted partners at the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association, we look forward to supporting each coach’s journey through the program.
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