Donate Your Fencing Gear Launches in Japan
The Japanese Fencing Federation (JFF) has launched the FIE “Donate Your Fencing Gear” program at the H.I.H. Prince Takamado Trophy Men’s Foil World Cup, which took place from November 10-12 in Tokyo. This was the fourth major world fencing event to feature the program, after the Junior & Cadet World Championships in Bulgaria in April, the Senior World Fencing Championships in Germany in July, and World Fencing Day in September.
Equipment donated by athletes at the Tokyo event was given to the Colombian Fencing Federation, one of the official recipients who have requested aid from the FIE.
The program was promoted throughout Japan via direct mail, social media, and the Federation Web site (http://fencing-jpn.jp), producing a total of 167 items given by 18 fencers and two fencing associations. Equipment was brought directly to the competition by athletes, and, with the cooperation of the JFF Athletes’ Commission, fencers not able to go to the competition venue were able to donate gear earlier.
There was enthusiastic participation from fencers, to the point that there were athletes waiting at the venue for the donations desk to open in order to make donations. Awareness and support for the project is very important to the Japanese Federation and its members, in particular as it helps attract attention from fencers and spectators as the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games approach. This project symbolises the concept of sustainability, one of the key initiatives of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It serves to connect Japan and the world through fencing in a unique and visible manner.
For this program, the Japanese Fencing Federation received official support and institutional approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affair and “Sport for Tomorrow”, an international contribution through sport initiative jointly implemented by public and private sectors in Japan, which promotes sport worldwide until the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Minobe Kazuyasu, a member of the FIE Athletes’ Commission said, “I hope that donated equipment in this project will be reused in another country and as many fencers as possible can receive gear. Then I am assured it is a good opportunity to broaden our horizons for athletes.”