The Martha’s Vineyard Fencing Club returns to the Island at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School gym this Monday at 7 pm. During this session, equipment for the 2021–22 season will be distributed to those interested in joining. Fencing will begin on the following Thursday. Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask.
“Many fencers with club equipment have their gear from our last session back in March 2020,” Ann Russell, the coach of the club and former Olympian, said. As many of the fencers are students, “chances are we will have to change it [equipment] out for larger sizes.” Russell requests returning participants to launder the jackets and underarm protectors in a warm or hot bleach wash.
MVRHS has “an extensive list of COVID precautions” that the club plans to abide by. The expectations will be reviewed during the Monday session.
Russell said the U.S. Fencing Association (USFA) requires fencers to wear a COVID mask underneath their fencing mask, but the club will follow local laws in conducting its sessions.
All fencers will be required to become members of the USFA to join the club, which can be done online through the association’s website. Russell recommends signing up for the noncompetitive membership, which costs $10. The club is a part of the New England Division. Russell asks that returning members bring their membership cards to the session. Club dues will be announced later, after Russell consults with the club’s treasurer, Fiona Finneran. Dues are used to cover USFA club membership, equipment purchases, and other needs.
The club welcomes newcomers to join. Russell encourages members to bring interested friends to Monday’s session. Russell said even if new members cannot attend Monday’s session, there should still be equipment on Thursday.
According to Russell, the fencing sessions will be on Mondays and Thursdays for 2 hours per day. The club’s schedule will follow the school’s calendar, so when the school is closed, such as snow days, the club will not meet.
“It’ll be slightly different this year,” Russell said in acknowledgment of the pandemic conditions the club is working in.
For more information, contact Russell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.