Browse the archives of NWFC milestones, moves, and much more
History at NWFC has always been an important part of the club’s atmosphere since the club first opened its doors in 1971. Through a few changes and many accomplishments by its athletes, NWFC has managed to become quite acknowledged.
Northwest Fencing Center’s history spans nearly five decades, becoming the premier training and competition facility it is today because of the dedication and faith of many. With such deep roots, we are proud to be part of the legacy of fencing in Oregon.
Read on to learn how our story began, how we’ve grown throughout the years, and what the future could hold.
The Future at Northwest Fencing Center has a bright outlook, at our new location! In the Spring of 2022, we officially moved into our new facility. After expanding our past location on SW Western rd by 7,000 square feet, the owner of the property decided to sell the land. Although unideal, our new location space is being built specifically to our needs. As fencers, we know how rare that is!
The 2000s was when the official inauguration of Northwest Fencing Center (“NWFC”) took place. Our training had expanded rapidly, calling for some changes and additions. Beginning in 2001, NWFC began to expand and refine what we offered our athletes. We added group classes built around age and aptitude, classes for homeschool groups, and adult instruction. NWFC continues to offer these course options today.
The Nineties were an exciting time for the club. With its reputation well established in the world of fencing, the SAFC worked with Une Touché de Portland (UTDP), a benefit corporation and qualified amateur sports organization. The goal of UTDP was to continue the work Yves Auriol’s Portland Project began by supporting fencing athletes and organizations, allowing them to train with SAFC’s best and make use of the facilities the SAFC could provide.
The Eighties at NWFC is when the club settled into its first long-term residency at what is now known as the Sunset Athletic Club. It is here that the school’s fruitful relationships with Chuck Richards, the Oregon Sports Authority, and the Oregon Sports Trust began.
The Seventies was when momentum started building, and more athletes knew of the training center. After commuting regularly from Seattle to Portland to teach fencing, Leon was in need of some assistance. Although Colleen was hoping to convince Leon to move to Portland permanently, he decided to stay in Seattle.
The Sixties at Northwest Fencing Center was when the club first started, sort of. Although it wasn’t quite a fencing club yet, it was gaining the attention of athletes in the Pacific Northwest. In the 1960s, Portland native Colleen Olney was recovering from a car accident, and looking for a sport to help her with the rehabilitation of her injured wrist. She stumbled on fencing, and after a few short sessions, she was enamored. Colleen is the matriarch of the NWFC community.