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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Maestro Oswaldo Ortega of Epic Fencing Club and Tim Furnish, Ph.D.

Reinhardt University continues to new add club sports to the list of student activities, and the newest addition is fencing. Students began meeting and practicing in September and interested team members hope to start competing in Spring 2023.

Tim Furnish, Ph.D., adjunct professor of history, is the Fencing Club advisor. “I took up fencing about 12 years ago,” says Furnish. “Fencing is a great sport. It’s challenging physically and mentally.” Now Furnish is sharing his love of the sport with Reinhardt students.

Maestro Oswaldo Ortega of Epic Fencing Club Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia serves as the club’s instructor. “Mr. Ortega is the former Venezuelan national fencing team coach. He was an internationally ranked saber fencer in his competitive days,” continues Furnish. According to Ortega’s biography on the Epic Fencing Club Atlanta website, Ortega comes from a family of fencers and trained at the Institute of Sport and Physical Education in Paris, France. There he earned the title of Maestro, which is the highest title a fencing coach can hold and means he can teach all three fencing weapons – saber, epee, and foil – at a high level.

Students in the Fencing Club are learning epee fencing. The weapon used in epee fencing has a triangular-shaped blade and is heavier than the blade used in foil and saber fencing. The blades of the epee are not sharp. During competition, points are scored when the weapon touches the opponent with enough force to depress the tip. In epee fencing, points can be scored by touches anywhere on the body.

Junior Melody Lorenz says she joined Reinhardt’s Fencing Club because she fenced in high school and was “excited by the possibility to play my sport again.” Although some students, like Lorenz, have prior fencing experience, Furnish stresses that prior experience is not necessary to join the club and most students started with no prior experience. “This is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor with other beginning folks.”

Lorenz encourages other students to give the Fencing Club a try. “Fencing is a great addition to the Reinhardt clubs. It’s a really fun sport and very unique.” Fellow Fencing Club member and sophomore Garrett Martin adds that fencing is great exercise. “It’s a really good cardio workout and good for lower body strength.”

The addition of the Fencing Club comes on the heels of the addition of the Disc Golf Club last year. Club sports offer students who may not be involved in collegiate athletics the chance to get involved in sports with the opportunity for competition. Prior experience in the sport is not necessary to join and membership is open to all students. As with all campus clubs, club sports are organized and operated through the Office of Campus Engagement and Recreation.

“Club sports are all about adding engagement opportunities for students,” says Walter May, Ph.D., dean of students. “The development of club sports will be one of the focus points and strategies to recruit and retain students as well as to continue to create a unique and vibrant Reinhardt experience where each student can explore new recreational outlets and find a potential lifelong fitness activity.”

Learn more about Reinhardt’s club sports please by contacting Becky Worsham, assistant director of Campus Engagement & Recreation at