Twenty-one years ago, Toronto Fencing Club had less than 10 members. Now, the club has grown to more than 70 competitive members and 10+ guest fencers for other clubs across GTA. Approximately 40 of our members have been with the club for more than four years. We are home to Olympians as well as medalists at the National, NCAA, Youth Olympic and World Championship level. With a focus on personalized attention and support tailored to each fencers’ needs, TFC works to teach proper habits while embedding fun activities to grow fencers’ love for the sport.
TFC’s fencers are known for being friendly and good sports while also being tough competitors. The quality of classes and training are among the best in the country. The TFC community is supportive and inclusive. Events such as pot luck dinners, barbeques and movie nights create a team environment and help TFC fencers see personal growth both inside and outside the club. TFC knows that when fencers are having fun and working in a positive environment, they work harder, support each other better and push each other to be the best they can be.
With strong attention to detail, TFC’s coaches care for each student and take into account the needs of each individual. They go the extra mile, assist individual to develop their SMART goals for Annual Training Plan to providing support and post competition analysis to individualize each fencer’s style. Whether a fencer is competitive or recreational, all fencers are treated with the same level of individual attention, the only difference being the frequency and intensity of their training programs.
TFC is strong in membership retention and growth. Toronto Fencing Club has more than 40 youth members with over half being first-time members. The club offers beginner classes for all ages, including children (6-9) and youth (10-13), which allow members to bring a friend to class. We also offer private lessons with our high performance coaches. To help with costs, TFC offers a family discount.
TFC works with school programs run by our Outreach Program Manager, Tim. The school fencing program is a one-week fencing class that is part of the graded curriculum, providing equipment, instruction, and hosting an in-school competition. The club’s Outreach Program will contact local schools interested in including fencing in their curriculum, offering to do a demonstration and to help start the program. TFC also provides classes that fulfill homeschool gym credits.
A welcoming atmosphere and inclusion policy help create the Toronto Fencing Club family. Teens help with preteens as big brothers and sisters, guiding competition selection, individual lessons, equipment maintenance and competition support. This creates mentorship opportunities. The club encourages more experienced fencers to help beginners. TFC hosts in-house beginner competitions to introduce the idea of competition early on, focusing on personal growth, improvement and the challenge of competition, rather than results. The club hosts informal tournaments as a first step toward competition without pressure, bringing competition to a more recreational level.
Marketing and Communication
Toronto Fencing Club has found creative and effective ways to market the club and communicate with its members. Facebook has been the club’s biggest marketing tool with over 500 people following the page of a club with only 50+ members. Through Facebook, TFC has posted tournament results, schedule changes and club activities, and utilized FB tools to offer event pages and insights. TFC uses Instagram to target youth and Instagram stories and videos to give up-to-date information, with one TFC video reaching more than 470 views! Our TFC WeChat group has grown up to 105 which bring everyone together.
To market new programs and increase social media presence, TFC advertises at 51.com. Members can like the club and / or write a review on different platforms such as Facebook and Google.
TFC’s strong presence on third-party review sites has gained new members for the club. The TFC Outreach Program has increased the club’s presence through local school presentations in front of students, parents and teachers.
TFC also has also co-hosted National Events in the GTA to promote fencing in the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario.