This week (today & Tuesday), our guest blogger, Kris Ekeren, the Executive Director of @USAFencing, salutes National Girls and Women in Sports Day! Go Girls #sistersinsweat! The first part of the blog post is below; the conclusion will follow tomorrow!
We also want to wish all of the 2018 USA Winter OlympicTeam the best of luck in PyeongChang, S. Korea! Go USA. The Winter Olympics start this week on Thursday!
This year, National Girls and Women in Sports Day will be celebrated on Feb. 7. The annual celebration recognizes the amazing achievements of girls and women who participate in sports and the positive impact that sports have on individuals. The special day includes community events and award ceremonies in all 50 states and USA Fencing will be celebrating this day by telling the stories of the impact that female athletes, coaches and officials have had on our fencing family.
Female sports participation in the United States is at an all-time high with girls participating in a variety of sports. And the interest in pursuing athletic dreams doesn’t stop with young women; more adult women are trying new sports and competing longer.
The sport of fencing in the United States has enjoyed tremendous growth during recent years. USA Fencing membership has grown by more than 50 percent over the last decade and fencing has become increasingly diverse as athletes from all races, ethnicities and economic backgrounds are trying this great sport for the first time and we as an organization have set the goal of increasing our membership to 40,000 in the coming seasons.
While our female fencers have had great success on the cadet, junior and senior levels, there is still a significant gap in the number of women who fence, recreationally and at a competitive level, in comparison to men. Growing USA Fencing’s membership in all realms is important and, in particular, we are seeking to introduce the sport to women and girls as females account for 35 percent of our membership – a number which we know can be expanded as more young women are handed an epee, foil or saber for the first time.
Not only does fencing provide important health benefits for participants, but our sport gives athletes an opportunity to develop and refine important life skills, such as discipline, respect, teamwork and leadership.
~~ Check back tomorrow (Tuesday) for the conclusion ~~