2-4-1 Sports Brings Fencing to Breakthrough Magnet Schools in Hartford

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A sports sampling program that runs camps all over the country, called 2-4-1 Sports, has brought its fencing program to Hartford.

"We go like this and try to hit each other in the stomachs," said Yamillette, a fourth grader at Breakthrough Magnet School South.

2-4-1 Sports is working with the Breakthrough Magnet School in Hartford thanks to a district-wide equity and innovation grant program.

"This is our inaugural fencing program and it's just been exciting to see the kids are so into it," said 2-4-1 Sports Chief Operating Officer Kerry Boyle.

"I look forward a lot to do it because it's really fun and it helps me learn," said Tristan Brown, a fourth grader at Breakthrough Magnet School South.

"I like fencing because I've always read books about sword fighting when I was younger and when I'm fencing, it's like I'm actually doing it," added fourth grader Malcolm Goodwin.

2-4-1 Sports also includes a social and emotional element to teach skills for the body and mind.

"We start each program with that so that they kind of get grounded," Boyle said.

"We're all working for the same goal, which is teaching kids those skills, those life skills, those leadership skills, being good people and having good character," said Breakthrough Magnet School South Principal Holly Gustafson.

Each session ends with shout outs, a way to spread positivity.

"Everywhere we go, there are kids in need. There are kids that are on devices, there are kids that are afraid to try things, so our whole model is let's just get them trying things that they might not otherwise try," Executive Director of 2-4-1 Sports Stephen Boyle said.

"It helps me with my reflexes and it helps me with footwork," Brown said.

"It helps you make new friends and it's just a really great program," Goodwin said.

2-4-1 Sports says they aim to take down cost to entry and cost for participation barriers. They added that they hope to expand their fencing program into other schools and communities so that they can serve more kids.

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