December 31, 2023

As we reflect on our contributions to Durham, NC and the USA Fencing community in 2023, we would like to say THANK YOU to all our fans, members and supporting organizations for a tremendous year! As we lean into 2024, we'd like to share a few images that reflect our 2023 evolution.

Cheers to all in 2024!

The last Ryder Cup RJCC took place February 4th & 5th, 2023 in Durham, NC.

After consulting with the family, the time seemed right to bring closure to our grief process. This was the last Ryder Cup we will host. The spirit of the event will be carried forward with the work of Forge Teams and future Region 6 qualifying tournaments we host. The Darwin family was one of the original founding families of Mid-South Fencers' Club, the pre-pandemic version of our community.

Epee at The Ryder Cup RJCC

Women's Saber Team

In March we celebrated NCAA fencing at Duke University by cheering on North Carolina fencers.

Sky Miller from Durham, NC representing Northwestern University.

Maggie Shealy from Chapel Hill, NC representing Brandeis University.

Late spring started our time for connecting with the international community through sport. Just before the Veteran NAC fencers had a wonderful treat as we collaborated with Global Fencing Masters for a clinic with Maitre Marie-Chantal Demaille.

East Coast veteran fencers represent!

Presentation from Maitre Marie-Chantal Demaille with Christophe Duclos of Global Fencing Masters

At the April NAC, Coach Jeff Kallio established his modeling career in USA Fencing. Here he shows his competitive spirit.

Photo credit goes to the talented USA Fencing photographer, Serge Timacheff.

Our team presence at national events continued to grow as we doubled our participation at the Summer National Championships from 2022.

Franklin and his dad at his first National Championships

Men's Junior Team: Justin, Matthew and Tyson

Coach Stephen and Annette

Our Summer National Championships were in Phoenix, Arizona in July. It was hot...really, really hot.

Summer. Who could forget the fun we have? Thank you Durham Magazine for honoring us with The Best of Summer Camps in 2023!

The first integrated parafencing event in North Carolina was the Big Blue epee event in August!

Coach Jen ventured across the United States to work with coaches, from all sports, and across the globe, all connected to the Olympic movement.

2023-2024 ICECP Class

USA coaches Ola Shelton and Jen Oldham

TJ Buchannan from International Lacrosse leads Jen and her fellow mentees from Zambia and Mongolia.

Women coaches from around the world at the United States Olympic Training Center in September 2023.

One of our greatest challenges since opening Forge has been to focus on choice of Olympic style weapons for all ages and developmental levels. This fall we launched our first Level III fencers in both foil and saber for youth development.

A few of our youth foil fencers stand for a photo as they prepare for their first tournaments of the 2023-2024 season.

Our Bull City RYC grew! We were proud to partner with the Durham Sports Commission and North Carolina Central University. Shout out to Region 6 making this a showcase event. We hope to host again in 2024.

Forge Teams board members Cathleen Randall and Annette Moore presenting awards at the Bull City RYC.

Our first Priority On Youth tournament of the season created a place to start, grow and expand community participation in the growth of our sport. 

Teen Leaders Ava, Malina, and Tyson stand proudly with the Y12 saber fencers.

Coach Tyler showcasing the success of the Forge Junior Men's Team at The Southern, the last travel tournament of 2023.

We ended the year with a Winter Camp, Teen Leadership meeting and a robust tournament that included newer to Veteran fencers. If you were there, it would have been loud, entertaining, funny and intense. It was a great last day to bask in competitive togetherness!

Thank you for sharing a little of 2023 with us. Just like the fencer progression, the process of growth is an evolution. As always, your feedback and encouragement is appreciated. Cheers to 2024!

Graduating seniors Keb Sills, Luis Cox, Shravan Gooty, Elina Wunnava, Vicky Zhang, and Kaitlin Mueller. Not pictured: Valeria Gerasimova, Justin Mol,

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