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National Office Blog: Kris Ekeren, USA Fencing Executive Director

01/26/2015, 9:15pm CST
By Kris Ekeren

January 26, 2015

Is January Really Almost Over?

Like many of you, I can’t believe that it is almost the end of January. The year started off quickly for the National Office with the January NAC in Salt Lake and staff now preparing for both the Junior Olympics and the Division I Championships in February and early March. In addition, our athletes have returned to the international circuit at the junior and senior levels and I couldn’t be more proud of the success have had in just the first few weeks of the new year. And, like many of you, I made some resolutions at the start of 2015. One of my professional goals is to communicate more frequently with the USA Fencing membership. This blog will be one vehicle that I will use to interact with you as members to share information on operational changes and decisions as well as exciting plans for the future as the National Office works in conjunction with the Board of Directors, members, coaches and volunteers to grow the sport of fencing.

To start the year off on a positive note, I want to thank each of you for being an important part of USA Fencing. Whether you are a non-competitive member just starting out in the sport or an elite athlete training for Rio or Tokyo, we appreciate your participation in USA Fencing. To our club owners and coaches, thank you for your dedication to the sport. To the volunteers who commit many hours to ensure that the organization is successful, you are valued.

Without an engaged and vital membership, USA Fencing wouldn’t be able to celebrate many of the successes that occurred in 2014:

  • Many international accomplishments including the women’s saber team gold and Mariel’s silver medal at the Senior World Championships, and numerous other medals and great finishes at the Junior and Cadet and Veteran Worlds as well as on the World Cup circuit.
  • Membership grew to more than 34,000 individuals and more than 550 clubs.
  • USA Fencing’s financial health continued to improve in 2014 as we diversified our revenue streams with increased support from individual and corporate donors as well as grants from the P&G | Team USA Youth Fund and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to create new programs for youth and wheelchair fencers.

While there are many positive achievements to reflect upon, in 2015 my goal is to improve the National Office’s communication to the membership of operational changes and decisions. I will be tackling some of the more challenging topics on this blog.  Among my future posts, I’ll discuss tournament qualification paths and size, member benefits, club development, the importance of international athlete success and strategic plan progress. I’ll also cover some of the broader issues that impact not only fencing, but all sports.

So, here’s to a great 2015 and striving to achieve your goals! I look forward to seeing many of you at the Junior Olympics in Richmond and Div I Nationals in Reno!



Tag(s): News