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As amazing as it seems, CEFC is surviving! Our community still stands strong, and the strength of the SabreCat Spirit cannot be understated! The past several weeks have seen the addition of new members to our community and we are so happy to welcome them into our community. If you see new faces, please make sure to give them a (socially distanced) friendly hello. The beginning of the school year is always a time of renewal and reinvigoration for our community, and even in the pandemic, that continues!
Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic that has spread throughout our county, state, country and world shows no sign of abating and Tarrant County recently issued a renewal of the mask and social distancing order through the end of November. We are thankful that the physical layout of our building allows us to do what we do, and that we are not reduced entirely to virtual and outside activities, like so many fencing clubs in different parts of the country. Obviously we wish we could be back at full operations, but we're thankful that so far, everyone in our community has remained healthy, and we have had no incidents of transmission at CEFC.
Updates to our fall schedule
To accommodate both an increase in our membership, as well as the needs of our athletes, we are adding an additional class to the schedule on Saturdays, from 11:30 - 12:30. We are also reworking the physical layout of our training space to add a few more training slots to each of the Footwork and Drills classes, while still maintaining good physical distancing.
Virtual classes remain on the schedule: Mondays - Thursdays 7:15 PM and Saturdays 10 AM.
These schedule changes will go into effect starting September 5th.
Training cohorts are being put together for the fall. We have assigned times right now for competitive groups of: Adult Men, Adult Women, Junior Men, and Junior Women. Relevant information is being communicated to these groups. This will be your training cohorts for the fall. Normally, CEFC believes in a strong mixing of both ages and genders for training, but COVID has forced modifications on us and we have to maximize the training we have available.
Newer and recreational fencers, we haven't forgotten about you with regards to training cohorts! We're looking to put together at least two more training cohorts: one for newer youth and one for newer teens/adults. FYI - Full equipment is required to participate in cohort training. Staff will be reaching out to potential participants over the next couple of weeks to discuss possibilities.
A word about the purpose of these cohorts: Current directives from public health authorities continue to stress the importance of limiting close contact to small groups. Our regular Footwork and Target Drills combine the physical distancing with other measures to keep everyone out of contact, but in order to participate in partner drills and bouting, what would be considered "close contact" happens for short moments of time. These cohorts allow for continued skill development and enjoyment of the sport, while limiting potential exposure to a small group and short time. They also allow the necessary contact tracing to occur, should that be necessary. We regularly consult on our plans with health officials both within and outside of our community, and they agree these cohorts represent an appropriate balance of safety and activity, given current circulating levels of COVID virus in the Tarrant County area.
We have set the schedule for the weekend intensives for September, October, and November. Please see this link for details. Our plan right now is to host two intensives a month, one for Youth/Teens and one for Adults/Vets.
Curriculum and Advancement Program
As you are aware, Maestro David has been completely reworking the entire curriculum to take into account the new training methodologies. This has been an intense effort, made in consultation with other coaches from around the country and the world. The question of "how do you teach fencing?" has undergone some serious revisions and the pandemic has forced us to re-examine a lot of our training methodologies. We've been forced to bring in ideas a diverse set of resources: other martial arts, other sports, other learning methodologies. We strongly believe that our approach is sound, based in sound practices, and will continue to deliver a great sport experience for everyone who participates. Fencing continues to be a great sport for kids, a great sport for teens, and a great sport for adults.
We will be restarting our advancement testing in early October, with Yellow and Orange tests available. Full details on testing requirements will be sent to all eligible members in the next couple of weeks.
Everyone out there, please stay safe! And Go SabreCats!