Fencing is often referred to as the 'sport of kings'. Fencing For All Foundation (FFAF), a 501 (c) 3 corporation, would like to change that. FFAF was developed in 2009 to introduce and educate youth aged 8-18 years to the sport of fencing and its associated life skills in order to build character, create leaders for the community and to develop strong national and international fencers. FFAF provides fencing to youth whose families are designated as low-income by the Department of Human Services who would otherwise not have an opportunity to learn about the sport.
FFAF, in association with Arizona Fencing Center (AFC) has developed the Zorro Project, and after-school program. The primary goals of the program are:
-to develop youth leadership skills
-to develop quick and correct decision making skills
-to teach self control
-to develop self confidence
-to develop strategic and analytical thinking skills
Fencing For All Foundation exists to educate the underprivileged youth of Arizona in life and leadership skills through the sport of fencing to develop the character of the individual, encourage academic success, strengthen minds and bodies, and contribute to the local community.
Maitre d'Armes- Florin Paunescu- Designer and supervisor of the Zorro Project curriculum. Coach Paunescu earned his Bachelor's degree in Physical education and Sport, specializing in fencing, from the National Academy of Physical Education and Sport of Bucharest. He holds a Level I (highest attainable license in fencing pedagogy) license. Coach Florin was the second trainer and head Coach for the Romanian National Saber Team. He is the winner of numerous European Saber titles including the prestigious European Cup- Gold medal, 1982.
Rachelle Arama- Assistant Moniteur
Coach Rachelle is in her 8th year as a fencing coach. Coach Arama began her fencing career in Michigan at the age of 17yrs. fencing with the University of Detroit and Wayne State University. Coach Rachelle is an apprentice coach under the tutelage of Coach Paunescu; she has trained at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, she is the beginner and children's coach at Arizona Fencing Center. Coach Arama represented the USA in the 2014 Veteran World Championships. She is a competitive saber fencer. Coach Arama desires to share her love of the sport with as many students as possible citing the wonderful and life changing experiences that have accompanied her fencing career.
Fencing For All Foundation could not carry out our mission without our wonderful cadre of volunteers. Our volunteers do everything form help maintain the venue with minor repairs and cleaning, provide snacks for the hungry fencers, referee and help at fundraising tournaments, assist at summer camp activities, demonstrate at local schools and help run our booth at the local fitness fairs. In other words, they are a necessary and welcome part of FFAF!
Thank you to: The McBryan Family (Pam, Bernie, Sarah, Teresa, James, John), The Wittier Family (Jennifer, Genevieve, Jim), Seth and Jared Logan, Ethan Birnbaum, Maria Birnbaum, Charles Pieper, Christina and Brian Pieper, Evan Kwan, Dario Walter, Florin Paunescu, Bridget and Chris Alario, Gabrielle Flaum, Madelyne Cheroske, LilyCatherine Arama, James and Megan Arama.
Healability of Gilbert, AZ - The Allen Heath Foundation-The McBryan Family-The Arama Family-The Witter Family-Arizona Fencing Center
Jerry Colangelo Center For Sports Philanthropy/ Arizona Community Foundation- 2017
City of Mesa Health and Human Resources Program Grant -2017
Fencing For All Foundation