It’s taken eight months for Lane’s newest club to counter-riposte from its passé to get the recognition and funding it needed from the Associated Students of Lane Community College.
Fencing Club founder and coach Carl Knoch first requested ASLCC funding in Spring 2013, but the club’s application for ratification was proposed too late in the term.
“That dragged the process out. We’re currently waiting for the funds to be transferred to our club account so we can get our equipment order in and get people fencing,” Knoch said.
Knoch got the money when the ASLCC Senate approved $3,204 for the Winter term. The Senate was not sure if it should approve the funds request, or if the ASLCC or Council of Clubs budget would provide for the request.
“Once they found a place to store the gear and hold the club meetings, it was a unanimous decision,” ASLCC Treasurer Zach Wais said. “I think it will spur student involvement, but most importantly, the money is available.”
The Fencing Club has organizational meetings every other Tuesday. The meetings are announced via Facebook and email.
“We’ll be meeting in whichever room our faculty adviser can schedule for us,” Knoch said. “We’ll also be having practices … whenever we can get gym time.”
With the funding, Knoch is hoping to buy fencing gear for 10 people.
“We also have four to five members who have their own fencing gear already. One of our biggest issues will be having enough gear to go around if our numbers grow, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Knoch said.
Knoch and others believe the new club will be successful as long as the club has a positive, inclusive environment focused on fitness and fun, and they increase the visibility and access to the sport among Lane and surrounding areas.
“I don’t know much about it, but it sounds pretty cool. If there was a match, I would go to it,”first-year Lane student Alexander Piermont said.
Knoch has helped start several fencing clubs in Virginia, including two at colleges and one public club in Charlottesville, Va. Both college clubs are still in existence. The Charlottesville Fencing Alliance is still active, with members earning medals at the national level while many young members have qualified for the Junior Olympics.
As the basketball season winds down in March, the gym will become more available. The open gym time will allow more practice time.
“Our goal is to have two (practices) per week spring term, and to be able to schedule practices at consistent times to help our members plan for them better. For now, we’re taking what’s available and trying to be flexible for the Athletic Department,” Knoch said.