My Efforts to Help CCNY Fencing
I spent most of this year trying to organize a Friends group to help our Alma Mater fencing team. It was a challenging and rewarding experience and frustrating at the same time.
- Nov. 2017
I wrote an autobiography last year and it was 28 chapters published on HubPages. So much has happened this year, I decided to add a new chapter. My efforts to help the fencing team started in December of 2016. I created a website detailing the current situation at CCNY Women's Fencing.
Next, I organized a reunion dinner for some of my old teammates. This took place in February 2017 in Chinatown, NYC. It was great seeing some old friends after so many years.
This was followed by a written proposal written by me and 3 other teammates. It lead to a conference call in May with the CCNY administrators including the acting President Dr. Boudreau.
I organized a BBQ for some of our old teammates and their spouses In the summer. This coincided with a fund raising activity among our small group of Friends of CCNY Fencing. Over the rest of the summer, we raised over $2000.
We used part of the funds to buy some scoring machines to donate to the school. This was done in September and a initial face to face meeting was conducted with the Athletic Department and some senior administrators.
We used the donation to pay tribute to four of our past coaches at CCNY. In the process, we connected with some family members of these coaches.
I also submitted an article to the Campus editor giving my perspective of being on a sports team and what it meant to me after a long career. I hope it will be published soon to help with recruitment of new members to the team.
Finally, a new website was created to promote CCNY fencing on an ongoing basis. Our group of Friends number about 16 for now and growing. As time goes on, we hope to connect with more alumni team members, both men's and women's.
An Alumni meet was added to the schedule to be held in January 13, of 2018.
Related to this effort, I have returned to fencing after 10 years hiatus. I joined the Fencers Club and have been going to practice once a week. I hope to build up my stamina so that sometimes down the road, I will be able to volunteer as an assistant coach. The team needs equipment, funds, but mostly good guidance and coaching. It is my contention that in a school of 14,000 student population, we should be able to find 12-15 girls athletes to be molded and trained to be competitive fencers at the college level.
I also started writing and publishing small lectures on fencing techniques. It is hoped that these ideas and tactics can help beginners and advanced team members alike.
Helping a non-profit organization like CCNY is not an easy task. It is a bureacratic laden system with all kinds of road blocks. They are there to prevent any new initiatives. They will use the rules and regulations to stymy any new ideas.
In the process this past year, our experience has been one of frustration and rejection. It is liking pulling teeth. A few in the administration seems to be open but most are not. They have a mentality that they are doing fine without help just being mediocre is good enough.
The recent scadals about funds missing just add to the distrust and chaos. Every department seems to be under the guns and are on the defensive. No one is talking or acting out of fear. It is as if a lockdown is in place. Until a new permanent administration is in place from the top, nothing will happen. The status quo is best for now.
Let's hope a new administration will be appointed soon. It has been over one year of limbo status. They are facing a budget shortfall of 6 million dollars. It will take some time to recover from this.
© 2017 Jack Lee