CLEVELAND, Ohio – Freshman Abigail Barr of the Cleveland State University fencing program was recognized with an award from USA Fencing this week.
Barr was honored as part of the governing body's Spirit of the Sport Recognition Program. She was one of six members of the fencing community to be recognized for their outstanding dedication to the sport and serving as an inspiration to others.
Barr, a native of Bellingham, Wash., has competed in epee for head coach Greg Jones of the Rain City Fencing Center.
The sport of fencing has helped Barr find confidence since she began fencing seven years ago. Regardless of her results on the strip, Barr would focus on maintaining her positive attitude, remaining dedicated to fencing and persevering despite being the only competitive fencer at her club, always making sure she was improving and having fun. In 2015, when she had outgrown her club, Barr began commuting 160 miles round trip for lessons and open fencing. Having once been the sole fencer from her club at tournaments, Barr remembers appreciating receiving support from other fencers and now returns the favor, offering advice and encouragement.
USA Fencing chooses the honorees based on commitment to the sport of fencing, as well as commitment to his or her club, along with the sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork and character that the nominee displays.
Barr and the other five honorees will receive gifts from USA Fencing to recognize the accolade.
Head coach Andy Tulleners claimed the same honor from USA Fencing in May 2017.