Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who Do We Serve?

I was thinking to day about an old Bob Dylan song that asked " who do you serve?"

In September, a lot of things COULD happen that involve my little fencing club," The Downtown Fencing Club." I am presently a member of three clubs...or two.....or maybe just one. I am a member of the NCFDP , which will stop in August and start again in September. I am/was a member of Mid-South Fencing, though they have moved to Durham and are really a sabre club. I joined that club to work with Coach Miller, who teaches at NCFDP so I could try to improve in my beloved epee. In September, coaches from MSF COULD teach sabre at the DFC. Coach Miller COULD teach epee at the DFC. Either the DFC would merge with MSF OR contract out ( meaning hire ) these higher level coaches and the DFC would get .....well.....higher level coaching. I really have no idea how this will all play out and there are so many factors. There are a great number of factors that could derail the whole thing. In fact, if I were betting, I would bet that something would happen to make this not work out.....but it could.

The whole thing boggles the mind and it is more than I feel like writing about. I wrote about the above, so I could write about this:

Who do we serve? The DFC has three types of fencers.  We have recreational fencers, who really don't think much about competing outside of the club. They fence for fun and are not all that serious about it. There is nothing wrong with this. They are having fun and that is a fine goal. There are some people that work fairly hard and try and find ways to improve themselves. They compete anywhere from "some" to a "great deal." ( I think I fall into this category. ) And then there are people that are sort of in between the two groups.

I will not break things down by ages or by people that are only going to fence for a couple of months and then hang it up. I will just stick with the three groups listed above.

The area where I live is a cluster of three medium sized to small towns. There are many small towns between and surrounding the larger Triad of cities. If you look at this as one geographical location, there are close to a million and a half people in the area. That should generate a fair amount of people that would be interested in fencing

The DFC is one of only two clubs in the area. I really do not know much about Delta H, besides the fact that they fence dry and do work with the high schools. However, for this journal entry I am going to pretend that the DFC is the only club in the area. The DFC is a fairly low level club in foil and sabre and perhaps an intermediate level club in epee. ( Others may see it differently.)

The question is, who do we serve? The present unpaid and all volunteer staff is doing the best they can with what they have, but it is becoming a strain to continue in some regards. I would guess we are around 35 students. Though looking at attendance this summer, I wonder if we have not lost some of that number. I will assume that there are that many for this post. Who do we serve?

I would guess at the most 6 people from the club could be said to compete often. I wonder if it is those six people that think that bringing in higher level coaches is best for the club. Or is it best for the community? I do notsee it being all that much benefit to the recreational fencers. Who do we serve?

There is a Scottish saying that states: He is the slave of all slaves that serves none but himself.

Do I want these high powered coaches because that is what is best for me? Or does it really serve the fencers of the Triad? I have no clue.

No matter how this all plays out, I will find away to find some higher level coaching. I am not worried about it. I am concerned on what the right thing is for the community.

Sometimes you just have to trust to Karma.



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