Fencing is one of the oldest games in the books. Originating as a military training tool, it evolved into sport around the 15th century, with roots in Italy and Germany. Fencing as a sport gained momentum around the 18th and 19th century. A few innovations lead to its rise in popularity; the creation of the foil, a weapon with a flattened tip, a set of rules around the target area, and the mesh mask fencers wear. All of these helped make fencing a safer, more popular sport. Fencing is also a gentlemen’s sport and each bout starts with the fencers saluting, without their masks, each other, the audience, and the referee. Then the referee will yell “En Gaurd” and the fencers will take their stance, signaling they are ready. The referee will then say “Pret?” “Allez!” which translates to ready? go! The match then begins and the first person to 15 touches is declared the winner of the bout. After the bout has ended, the fencers will salute each other and shake hands.
This fast-paced sport is one not many people think about! These athletes move at the speed of a race car, if not faster and with grace about them. USA Fencing is the governing body over all amateur fencers in the United States, with headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Each year the association hosts the March North American Cup, where the top fencers come together to compete. These athletes are of all ages and belong to clubs all across the country.
USA Fencing returns to Cleveland this weekend to host the March North American Cup at the Huntington Convention Center in Downtown Cleveland March 10 – 13. The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission bid against other top fencing locations to host this event, which will draw in over 1.2 million in economic impact for the city and around 1,100 athletes.
I have had a big hand in this event, writing the media alert and collaborating with my partner, Cierra to make a social media plan. Because I knew virtually nothing about fencing when I started, I watched a lot of videos about it and read many other great blogs about the rules. I fell in love with this sport, the way the athletes move and act towards one another makes it very admirable. We are also going to the convention center and laying down the 30-foot strips of fencing tape.
We are also going to the convention center and laying down the 30-foot strips of fencing tape and putting up signage to help activate our brand. This event will require some manual labor on our end, but seeing the sport in action will make it all worth it! Everything we do at the Sports Commission is for the love of the game!