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Allies Committee Year in Review

The WFencing Allies Committee was created as a working committee to determine ways in which male allies and members of WFencing can promote the cause of equity for all in fencing, the Allies Committee has worked first to define its mission and then help others understand various ways to ally.

The work over the past year primarily has produced a series of blog posts. Starting with defining ally-ship, the Allies Committee has explored other ways of advancing equity in our sport. Male allies have found it helpful to share their journeys – as a Coach, Club Owner, or Division Officer, for example – as ways to help others understand how to support themselves and others.

Along the way we have discovered some very practical examples of inequity and need for allies who understand and act: chest protectors and hair. We knew chest protectors didn’t work well in their “one size fits all” construction – what we didn’t know was how much they didn’t work for almost everyone who wears them! There is now a subcommittee exploring ways to develop chest protectors that are truly more equitable–and fitting! There will be more updates to come.

The more recent post on Black hair also has shown how the personal and practical are impactful. In this case, knowing how to be respectful and helpful when using masks.

Discussing issues which impact many people in many different ways, educating ourselves, and then taking steps to support other members of the community continues to be the WFencing Allies Committee’s focus. What are other ways we can help our fencing sport community involve male allies? How can we support others and make the community more inclusive? What do you want the Allies Committee to work on next? Let us know!

The Allies Committee co-chairs Liz Mayerich and Taro Yamashita invite others who are interested in this work to join them, Rich Weiss, Jeff Kallio, Vickie Miller, and Cathleen Randall. Drop a note to or contact one of them directly.

Interested in knowing more about WFencing? Become a member!

Cathleen Coyle Randall is a member of the Allies Committee and Chair of WFencing, Inc.

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