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USA Fencing Announces Connor Porter Memorial Scholarship

04/18/2013, 5:15pm CDT
By Kris Ekeren

Connor Porter poses with his bronze medal at the 2013 Division III National Championships. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE / FencingPhotos.com

USA Fencing is pleased to announce the creation of the Connor Porter Memorial Scholarship.   The scholarship is made possible through the generous donation from Connor's family members - Trish and Shannon Porter.  

Connor passed away on July 26, 2012 in a plane crash with his father, Pat, and another friend shortly after winning bronze in the Division III foil event at the Summer Nationals in Anaheim. Connor had many friends in the fencing world and was well known for his sportsmanship and encouraging others. 

Connor's father, Pat Porter, was a two-time track Olympian (1984, 1988) and his mother, Trish King Porter, was a high jumper on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team.  

"Our thanks go out to Connor's family and, in particular, his mother, Trish. While the Porter family's loss is unimaginable for most of us, his family's generosity will ensure that his legacy is remembered by all of us in the USA Fencing community," said Don Anthony, USA Fencing President/Chairman of the Board.

Two scholarships will be awarded - $2,000 each for one male and one female high school student.  To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must be members of USA Fencing and submit a recommendation letter from a coach, teacher or school administrator. No grades need be submitted as grades will not be considered in determining the winners of the scholarship. The deadline for applications is May 14, 2013.

In addition, all applicants must complete a 350-400 word essay on the following topic: 

Connor Porter loved both fencing and the people and activities that went along with the sport for him -the friends he made at tournaments around the country, the younger fencers he helped at his club, cheering on his teammates and others, the times when he was just having fun being part of the fencing community.

Write about a time when you have been at your fencing club or at a tournament when you were doing one of the things that made Connor's time as a fencer so positive.  Then describe how that activity or event has shaped your wider fencing experiences.

"Shannon and I are very excited to spread Connor's love and enthusiasm for fencing, life and other people. Connor wasn't a "traditional sport" kind of kid but when he started fencing he was sold from the first day. Fencing brought him so much joy, laughter, life lessons, and taught him discipline," Trish Porter said. "For Connor, it was all about the people he got to be with, all the laughter he got to share, and all the hugs he gave and received. Wherever he went he encouraged his teammates and/or competitors. His smile, love of life, the Lord and others was evident in how he lived each moment to the fullest. Our hope is these awards will help athletes to remember others throughout the process of becoming the best competitor they can become, and to enjoy the process along the way. We are only given one life; may we try a little harder, be a little kinder, and love a little more in the spirit of Connor Porter."

Former USA Fencing President and current Scholarship Review Panel member Kalle Weeks commented "There could be no better way for us to remember and cherish what Connor brought to our sport than through the scholarships that his mother is sponsoring. I am most grateful to her for providing these opportunities for young fencers."

For more information or to apply online, please visit the following link:  Connor Porter Memorial Scholarship.

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