skip navigation

Spirit of Sport

About the Program

Do you know someone in the fencing community who exemplifies the true meaning of sport?  We want to share their story with the fencing community. 

The Spirit of Sport program strives to recognize the incredible individuals making a positive impact on the fencing community. Each quarter, USA Fencing selects one winner from each region who exemplifies each of the five USA Fencing core values:

  • Excellence
  • Respect
  • Teamwork
  • Inclusion
  • Passion

Please note, this award program does not take an individual's fencing results into consideration. While they may be included, Spirit of Sport focuses on the ideals that define the sport of fencing, including commitment, dedication, sportsmanship and character. Winners may be anyone from the fencing community, from fencers to coaches to armorers to volunteers. The only requirement is the nominee must be a current member of USA Fencing.


Winners receive:

  • Exclusive USA Fencing Spirit of Sport t-shirt
  • Exclusive USA Fencing Spirit of Sport bag tag
  • Recognition on USA Fencing website and social media channels

Nomination Deadlines

2020-21 nomination deadlines (all deadlines at 11:59 ET):

  • Quarter 1: Click here to read about the winners.
  • Quarter 2: Click here to read about the winners.
  • Quarter 3: Click here to read about the winners.
  • Quarter 4: Click here to read about the winners.

USA Fencing Spirit of Sport Annual Winner

Congratulations to Ketki and Mallika Ketkar (Sammamish, Wash.) for winning the 2020 Annual Spirit of Sport Award.

Twins Mallika and Ketki Ketkar have always been ideal students at the club. Both dedicated and hardworking, they encourage others to work hard while also bringing joy to those around them. They are true team players in normal circumstances, but have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ketkar twins pitched in to help wherever they could, editing online videos and assisting to organize online meetings with Olympians, coaches and referees, who spoke on topics such as training in isolation, sport psychology and balancing fencing and academics as a way for everyone to stay involved with the sport and keep morale high. Mallika and Ketki Ketkar also helped in the community, picking up and delivering groceries with all tips being given back to the club.

To read more, click here

Each season, USA Fencing honors one annual Spirit of Sport winner. After the 24 Spirit of Sport winners are named during the season, a selection committee selects the top selection in each region as well as one wildcard choice from the pool of 24 winners. The fencing community then selects the winner from the final seven in an online vote available to the entire USA Fencing membership.

Quarter Four Winners

Michael McTigue, Justice Cullivan, Tony Whelan, David Bording, Audrey Toffelmire, Chelsea Hu

Quarter Three Winners

Jacob Lei, Andrew Kwon, Hannah McPherson, Mira Vestel, Monica Balakrishnan, Patricia Wilkens

Quarter Two Winners

Charlene Welch, Zhen Yang, Andrew Fischl, Bob Cotter, Iris Pierce, Jeffrey Gu

Quarter One Winners

Cheryl Maslen, Anthony Kosla, Matthew Zich, Richard Lee, Srija Atluri, Christopher Bernard

To view past USA Fencing Spirit of Sport winners and see their stories, click here.