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From Melun to Bourges

Nearly 50 fencers from around the world will gather in France at end of March for the official FIE Training Camp ahead of the Cadet and Junior World Championships 2016, which kick off April 1 in the central city of Bourges.

The FIE Training Camp and the Cadet and Junior World Championships carry special significance this year, coming just a few months ahead of the Rio Olympics where the young athletes’ idols will be battling it out for Olympic medals.

“The FIE Training Camp is a place where athletes come not only to hone their skills, but also to get the drive and inspiration they need to raise their game to a whole new level,” said Krisztián Kulcsár, FIE Sporting Director who is responsible for the program.

“Add to this the ‘Olympic effect’ of motivation and we have the perfect recipe for success,” he added.

The locations for the Training Camp, selected by the FIE and split by weapon, are Bourges itself for sabre fencers; and the Fencing Club Melun Val de Seine, where foilists and épéeists will gather.

Melun Val de Seine was the venue for a Coaching Advancement Program last year that was run in collaboration with the FIE following the center’s affiliation to the Club Movement Initiative network. The club boasts impressive fencing facilities but it’s not only about the infrastructure: The foil training camp will be led by renowned fencing masters Patrice Lhôtellier and Jean-Noël Hautefaye. They will be joined by Ukrainians Natalia Conrad and Dmitry Rejzlin, who will tend to the épée fencers. In Bourges, meanwhile, Gennady Tyshler, the President of the FIE Coaches Council, will work with the sabre fencers.

While training in Melun, the male foilists can participate in the Challenge Ernst Revenu, a senior men’s foil national circuit competition, the 47th edition of which will be held on Easter weekend (March 26 and 27) – an opportunity not to be missed for those craving the experience of high-level competition prior to the championships.

FIE Training Camp facts and figures:

  • 33 men and 14 women
  • 30 juniors and 17 cadets
  • 23 épée fencers (14 men/9 women)
  • 11 foil fencers (9/2)
  • 13 sabre fencers: (10/3)
  • Participation by continents:
  • Africa: 11 (9 women / 2 men)
  • Asia-Oceania: 14 (10/4)
  • Europe: 7 (5/2)
  • The Americas: 15 (9/6)

Besides the chance to work with famous fencing masters, the participants have the possibility to participate in the world championships and gain crucial big-competition experience at a formative stage of their development.

The selection process of the fencers is entirely a national matter. The FIE chooses the countries based on a combination of different criteria:

  • Number of active fencers in a Federation
  • Participation in FIE competitions
  • Organisation of FIE or continental sport events
  • Participation in past editions of the FIE Training Camp

Special attention is paid to countries afflicted by conflict such as Syria, Yemen and Iraq, where buying air tickets to Europe is a huge difficulty. The presence of fencers from these countries adds to the social mission of the camp.

Nobody is left behind: to the countries not included in the list for the FIE Training Camp 2016, a subsidy will be nevertheless granted to bear the expenses for the participation of a fencer in the championships.

Sabre fencers of the cadet and junior category will gather in Bourges starting from March 22. Melun will welcome two waves of arrivals: March 21 for the cadets, followed by the juniors three days later.

The application process was launched by the FIE Sport Department in mid- November.