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UIW opens fencing center

UIW opens fencing center
Mark Papich (from left), UIW athletic director; Dr. Louis J. Agnese, UIW president; Yolanda Tarango, CCVI congregational coordinator, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word; Paul Elizondo, Bexar County commissioner; and Nelson Wolff, Bexar County judge, cut the ribbon to officially open the UIW Brainpower Center for Fencing and International Sports.

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May 22, 2013
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SAN ANTONIO -- At a grand-opening celebration held here on May 13, officials from Bexar County and the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) officially opened the UIW Brainpower Center for Fencing and International Sports. Among the special guests were Olympians Velizar Iliev, Dr. Robert Beck, and Dr. Tracy Hurley and her daughters, Courtney and Kelly Hurley, bronze team medal winners from the 2012 summer games held in London.

“This facility compliments our city’s long history of training world class and Olympic athletes,” said UIW President Dr. Louis Agnese. “It will provide a much-needed venue not only for local fencing programs, but other sports as well. It’s also a good example of the synergy that can take place between the public and private sectors, and the high school and university.”

Made possible by a $2 million contribution from the Bexar County Venue Tax, the UIW Brainpower Center for Fencing and International Sports is the premiere fencing facility in the region and was built on the St. Anthony Catholic High School campus located at 322 McCullough Ave., which is owned and operated by UIW. Incarnate Word provided an additional $1 million toward the building of the facility, bringing its total estimated cost to $3 million.

The 18,000-square-foot facility includes eight fencing strips; practice strips; spectator and exercise areas; a gymnasium with basketball and volleyball capabilities; an international sports area for badminton and table tennis, and an armory. A truly internationally constructed facility, the fencing strips are from France and the fencing reels, electronic devices that work with the fencing scoring system, are from Italy. The center will serve as a multipurpose facility allowing UIW to develop an NCAA fencing program; provide the facilities for a U.S. Fencing Association club for the community; serve as a training facility for fencing athletes, including the hosting of regional and national competitions; and support community initiatives such as the Dreams for Youth fencing.

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