Using fencing to combat poverty and obesity in Detroit

Oct 1, 2012

As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talked with the founder of En Garde Detroit. It's a program teaches the sport of fencing to kids ages 8-16.

Founder Bobby Smith said getting kids involved in non-traditional sports can help them break the cycle of poverty and gain access to college. 

He said he was able to get out of his low income situation though fencing. When he was young he got a scholarship to work with the Olympic fencing team. At that time he lived in an inner city neighborhood in New Jersey. Bobby said it was that experience that allowed him to get a scholarship to Wayne State University for fencing.

En Garde Detroit focuses on sports and culture. Smith says he uses the non-traditional sport of fencing as a tool to draw students in. He then teaches students about culture and leadership.