The Northwest Fencing Club looks to grow and expand its outreach, following a generous donation of equipment.
Don Dino, father of Dee Dino Office of Student Involvement Specialist, recently donated some of his personal fencing equipment to the Northwest Fencing Club. The donation included both electronic competition and dry training equipment. These donations have helped combat the expensive nature of the sport. The donations cut the cost of participating by nearly 85 percent.
“Each sport club member has to pay a due,” Director of Student Recreation James Hinson said. “The equipment has helped out a lot because it brought that due down from about $200 to in the range of $15 to $30.”
Don Dino graciously provided the club with more than 20 foils, along with multiple head and chest protectors. The biggest contribution he made was an electronic scoring system. Don Dino is a retired fencing master who choreographed fight scenes for the Shakespearian Stage Festival in Boulder, Colorado. Dee Dino said her father really wanted to donate the equipment to someone who would make good use of it.
“The motivation for his donation was the recent resurrection of the Northwest Fencing Club, and a willingness by Northwest to accept and utilize the donation,” Dee Dino said.
The Fencing Club has been officially revived after nearly eight years of not having enough interest. The sudden resurgence of the club brings hope that, with time, more students will become interested with lower costs available. The club meets every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for practices.
“At the student organization fair last year in the fall, we had at least 20 students sign up showing interest. It was the fee that turned them off,” Hinson said. “With having this equipment we should have a significant amount of students wanting to do fencing, and we can make it available to them.”
The low costs will help bring in new members who are looking for fencing experience without having to travel to a larger community. Without the club on campus, students would have to travel to Kansas City in order to join a club.
“Most kids have to go to Kansas City, Des Moines or Omaha to find any type of involvement in a fencing organization,” Dee Dino said. “With not having anything like that in our area, we might have more of a draw.”
The club has aspirations of more than just on-campus activities. With little support for fencing in the local area, the club will look for fundraising to help bring in money and send members to competition and tournaments.
“Fundraising is the major thing for our club sports. We would like to eventually have members go to tournaments around the Des Moines, Omaha and Kansas City areas,” Hinson said.