About Us

ianFencing is Just the Beginning

Wasatch Fencing’s focus is on helping youth develop respect for others, a strong work ethic, self-esteem, and a healthy attitude toward life. We believe youth should be immersed in sports, as sport provides an opportunity to develop skills needed along life’s path. We happen to have a passion for fencing.

Wasatch Fencing is a volunteer-driven community club. Our club is simply a way we, in a small way, give back to the community.

It All Started at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base in 1983

Our club started on a handball court at Hill Air Force Base in 1983 by Shawn Hart and Bob Babcock. A year or so later, Ron Hendricks, who had just moved to the area, joined Shawn and Bob, and shortly after that, Layton City Recreation gave space to the club in an old building that could accommodate a couple of strips. With a few foils, masks and jackets, and a couple of home-built boxes and reels, the club soon attracted youth and adult fencers, and Wasatch Fencing was born.

In the late ‘80s, Wasatch Fencing moved to the YWCA gym in Salt Lake City. Here, the club began to focus on youth fencing by sponsoring a club at West High School. Within a few years, many fencers were qualifying and competing at national events.

After five years at the YWCA, Wasatch Fencing found its way back to Layton, where it resided for a few years before opening a dedicated fencing facility in Kaysville in 2000. By then, James Neiswanger joined us as a coach along with Gary Bryant, our first armorer. Several years later, Martin Gravis joined us as a coach/armorer.
In 2017, Schoolhouse Fencing shared space with Wasatch Fencing and, after a few years, merged into the Wasatch Fencing organization. With this, Kenny Nopens joined Ron as a head coach at the club.

Here are some interesting facts about our club:

    • Wasatch Fencing is the oldest fencing club in Utah, established in 1983.
    • Wasatch Fencing is a volunteer-driven community club.
    • No youth has ever been prevented from fencing because of their financial circumstances.
    • For over twenty years, Wasatch Fencing has sponsored clubs at Davis High School, Layton High School, Bountiful High School, and West High School at no cost to the school districts.
    • Davis High School’s fencing club was Utah’s longest-running high school club.
    • Ron has been the co-chair of two National Championship tournaments and one Junior Olympic championship tournament held in Utah.
    • Wasatch Fencing has constantly produced nationally-ranked youth fencers.

We are blessed to have the opportunity to work with thousands of youth over our club’s history. We look forward to working with many more youth in the years ahead.