Posted on Leave a comment

#CoachFranke Celebrates 50 Years of Coaching Division I Women’s #Fencing at #TempleUniversity

Coach Franke and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Nikki Franke celebrates fifty years of coaching the Division 1 Women’s Fencing Team at Temple University this year!

Coach Franke and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Coach Franke (right) and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan (left) pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I was a young inexperienced teenager when I walked into Coach Franke’s fencing room in McGonigle Hall for the first time. Looking back now, I didn’t know anything (competitive-wise) about my weapon, Sabre. Coming from Brooklyn, New York and fencing only on a recreational level at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, I had only one national tournament under my belt. But, Coach Franke was still willing to take a chance on me.

This is what makes Coach Franke the great coach that she is, the chances that she’s willing to take on young inexperienced fencers. After transitioning over to Sabre from Foil the previous year at the suggestion of my then coach Mika’il Sankofa, I had to sharpen up my skills asap to prove to Coach Franke that she wasn’t just doing me a favor. Along with the help and support of Zoila Palacio who was the Sabre & Epee coach at Temple University, I went on to become a three-time NCAA Championship competitor as well as an All-American fencer for Temple University. Compared to my teammates back home who were already going on to compete at the 2000 Summer Games in Athens, I was far behind.

However, with the support of Coach Franke and Coach Palacio, I was able to go on and compete and gain high results in several international senior world cups all over the world between the years of 2006 and 2015.

This year makes 50 years that Coach Franke has been coaching up the young ladies at Temple University. I’m so glad that I chose Temple University as my school back in 2000. This is definitely a decision that I never regret. Here’s to 50 more years Coach Franke! Hoot! Hoot! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Posted on 1 Comment

Good Luck to the #PeterWestbrookFoundation at the #Tokyo2020 #Olympics Next Month!

Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.
Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.
Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.

“This is a lily white sport. Make no bones about it.” – Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook knows all about the sport of fencing. The six-time Olympic bronze medalist has been sending African-American fencers to the Olympic Games for the past two decades. I, myself started fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation when I was eleven-years-old and I’ve had the opportunity to know Peter Westbrook not just as an Olympian but as a human being. And trust me — they don’t make them like him anymore!

Next month for the Tokyo 2020 games, the Peter Westbrook Foundation will be sending a quarter of Team USA’s men’s fencing team to compete. This is something no other organization has done to date. Check out the cool news special CBS New York recently did highlighting the Peter Westbrook Foundation below. Good luck to my PWF fencing family at the Tokyo 2020 games next month. I’ve been knowing these Good Men all my life!! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Posted on 1 Comment

#TheAudacityOfHope: Obama’s Best White House Photos

President Obama on the White House lawn watching Olympian Fencer Tim Morehouse and U.S. National Team Fencer Daria Schneider fence. Photo courtesy of AP

The votes are all in and it’s official! Our beloved President Barack Obama is on his way out of the White House and Donald Trump is on his way in! *Takes 5 minute break to digest what I just typed.* Still, with that being said, nothing can take away from the two great terms that President Barack Obama gave us as the 44th President of the United States of America. He was a President of many firsts. Including the first to visit the island of Cuba since President Calvin Coolidge in 1928. President Obama also became the first president to visit a federal prison in 2015, the first time for any sitting president in the history of the United States. So, in honor of Obama exiting, I’ve compiled a list of some of his best photos taken by Chief Official White House photographer Pete Souza over the last eight years via his awesome and eloquent Instagram account. So, no tears today, please! Because life will most definitely go on! Just sit back and check out the awesome photos below and remember all the good times that we had while Obama was here!

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-56-11

screenshot-2016-11-09-19-00-20
Only right that President Obama and former President Abraham Lincoln meet face-to-face.

President Obama on the White House lawn watching Olympian Fencer Tim Morehouse and U.S. National Team Fencer Daria Schneider fence. Photo courtesy of AP
President Obama on The White House lawn watching Olympian Fencer Tim Morehouse and U.S. National Team Fencer Daria Schneider fence. Photo courtesy of Associated Press.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-57-22

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-54-22

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-54-47

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-54-00

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-00-33
President Obama became the first sitting president in the history of the United States to visit inmates at a federal prison in 2015. Photo via okwassap.com.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-53-34

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-53-19

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-53-00

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-52-35

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-51-09

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-50-50

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-50-27
Because we all need a beer break sometimes, right?

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-48-27
And a coconut water break, too!

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-49-01

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-48-00

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-47-20

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-43-14

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-46-12

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-45-56

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-45-21

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-42-41

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-46-53

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-42-05

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-41-33

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-41-14

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-40-54

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-47-06

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-29-43
2016 Olympic Fencer and my friend, Ibtihaj Muhammad with President Barack Obama at the White House.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-59-32
Syrian Refugee Olympian, Yusra Mardini poses with Barack Obama photo via NBC Sports.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-44-05

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-43-53

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-44-46

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-55-10

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-51-10

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-51-01

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-55-55

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-50-27

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-05-19

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-06-05

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-05-43

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-56-10

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-06-26