Sport Fencing growing at high school and middle school levels | Families
Many parents and educators across the U.S. are coming to realize the benefits to students of Olympic Sport Fencing. Sport fencing has been a small but ever present sport in America since the 19th century. Usually, and erroneously, associated with the privileged class, it has found little place at large in the ball dominate sports arena in America. However, that view has been changing rapidly over the 25 years. The U.S. has grown steadily in world prominence including generation of World Champions and Olympic Gold and Silver medalist. This growth is attributed with broader media coverage but also with a concerted effort by coaches and fencing enthusiast to promote this exciting sport at the middle school and high school levels around the country. This moves fencing out from the traditional private salles (clubs) and college environments so as to make it accessible to everyone who is interested.
Fencing in the middle and high school levels has been around for decades most in northern schools. But that is changing. Georgia has roughly 40 high schools and middle schools with fencing programs and the number is growing. Why?
Fencing provides physical and cognitive benefits. Fencing is characterized as a physical "game of chess." It takes strategy and quick reflexes. Your opponent can make an attack in any number of ways and your defense needs to come in a split second, and in the next split second, you've got to make your attack.
Fencers learn good sportsmanship, self-discipline, gain quick reflexes and how to compete independently. They gain a sense of accomplishment when winning and learn to profit from their defeats. They learn critical thinking skills from having to make complex decisions, analyze problems, and think fast on their feet. Literally. These skills are embedded and applied by the child well beyond the fencing environment.
Academically, students who participate in fencing tend to show improvements in their studies especially, mathematical and analytical subjects. Fencing has been shown to improve focus in people with ADD, ADHD, and ODD. Persons who participate are typically part of the top 25% of the academically successful students.
Because fencing is an individual sport, the fencer is solely responsible for their success or failure, which becomes a great lesson in responsibility and self assurance. The empowering nature of fencing helps build self-confidence and self-esteem. Being a member of a fencing club gives the fencer an opportunity to participate in a group setting, where friendships are made and true sportsmanship is encouraged. Many of the students involved in fencing are not drawn to the other typical sports offerings in most schools. Fencing also embrace handicapped students offering fencing to persons with varying physical challenges.
Finally, many great colleges have fencing teams and are always looking for experienced fencers. While scholarships are few and limited to top-level competitors, having fencing on your college resume provides you with another way for your child to market themselves.
The Warner Robins Fencing Society offers fencing instruction to persons 10 years to 80 years of age. Beginner Courses start the first Monday of each month. Courses are taught at the Warner Robins Recreation Department, 800 Watson Blvd. Warner Robins GA.
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