How These Five Clubs Earned USA Fencing Club of Excellence Recognition for the 2021-22 Season

Atlanta, Ga.

Owner: Kathy Vail

With a caring and knowledgeable coaching staff, an atmosphere that emphasizes attention to detail, and programming that appeals to both high-performance athletes and recreational fencers, everyone at Dunwoody Fencing Club feels like a part of the team. 

Dunwoody is one of the oldest continuously operating USA Fencing clubs in the Georgia Division, building past champions on the local, regional and national levels. 

Most importantly, members find a sport in which they can participate for a lifetime.

To get those lifelong fencers started, Dunwoody recruits through its summer fencing camps and clinics and with one-day “Try Fencing!” programs held year-round. The club also offers fencing programs at libraries and community centers in its community and in surrounding areas. Dunwoody also has an active presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

The club also fosters a family-centered atmosphere that encourages parents and grandparents to actively support the whole club by serving as bout committee members, armorers and sharing their time and talents however they can. 

Dunwoody also encourages collegiate fencers to return to the club during the summer break by offering discounted rates to do so. The club hosts a monthly in-house “Friday Night Fights” tournaments, and points standings from each tournament are totaled at the end of the season with prizes awarded at the annual End-Of-Season Cookout.

Fencers at Dunwoody build community through the “A to Z challenge” — a collection of outside-the-club group activities like archery, bowling, curling, disc golf and more. 

“DFC is a highly competitive epee club that also welcomes recreational fencers,” owner Kathy Vail says. “This is the first item that appears on our website and on our promotional materials. It’s a concise statement of who we are as a club. DFC is successful in membership because we give our students all the tools that they need to develop as fencers, then allow them to use those tools to develop the individual strategy that best suits them.”