By Georgetta Morque
The opportunity to learn fencing from Olympians is now at our doorstep. The country’s seventh ranked club for youth fencing opened on Pearl Street in Port Chester. Founded by U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Tim Morehouse, the club offers lessons and camp programs in the Olympic sport of sabre fencing for all ages and levels.
Since its opening, the Tim Morehouse Fencing Club has provided lessons to hundreds of new and experienced fencers, sent teams to national competitions, hosted its first tournament for over 200 competitors and established itself as the go-to venue for fencing in the region and beyond. Port Chester is the club’s second location; the first, opened two years ago, is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Morehouse, who teaches at his Port Chester club, along with other internationally acclaimed coaches, won an Olympic Silver Medal in the Men’s sabre team event in 2008 and was a three-time Olympic team member in ’04, ’08 and ’12, a nine-time world team member, and two-time individual U.S. National Champion. He was introduced to the sport at age 13 when he chose fencing over gymnastics at Riverdale Country Day School. Little did he know that fencing would change his life.
His passion for his sport is also the driving force behind his nonprofit organization, Fencing in the Schools, an initiative to eventually introduce fencing to 1 million students in low-income communities throughout the U.S. A former teacher in the Teach for America program, Morehouse is also a sought-after speaker, corporate spokesperson, and on-air correspondent.
Jonah Shainberg, a Rye High School graduate now fencing for the University of Notre Dame, is thrilled to be so close to the club and his coaches. He encourages people in the community to give fencing a try. “It’s a fantastic sport that anyone can do,” said Shainberg, adding that few sports emphasize the importance of the mental side of the game quite like fencing does.
In addition to having an outstanding college career, Shainberg, who has fenced since age 8, has won numerous medals in competitions all over the world, including the Salt Lake City Junior Olympics, the Cadet World Cup in Hungary and Russia, the World Championships in Croatia. “Fencing, most importantly, has taught me valuable lessons that I’ll carry through my life, such as managing my time effectively, holding myself accountable, and being adaptable,” he said.
The Club offers: an introductory program to help ages 4 to 6 to gain better control of their bodies and minds through fencing; a beginner program for all ages; a youth championship program for ages 7 to 12; a junior/senior elite program for students ages 13 and over who compete on a regional and national level; and an adult novice program. Project Runway’s Tim Gunn competed in the club’s tournament in November and is an avid student of Morehouse’s in the city.
Programs provide a combination of private and group lessons, loaner equipment, an equipment-storing station and additional elements depending upon the age group. The club, which offers several types of memberships, welcomes school groups and can provide after-school pickup. Trial lessons are also available. For more information, visit timmorehousefencing.com or call 317-886-8243.
Tim Morehouse, Jonah Shainberg, and Archil Lortkipanidze at the USA Fencing Division 1 Challenge in Salt Lake City this summer