A new FIE program to benefit disadvantaged, underprivileged, and challenged athletes took hold in Plovdiv this week at the 2017 Junior & Cadet World Fencing Championships. ‘Donate Your Fencing Gear’ encourages fencers to contribute used gear still in workable condition to the FIE, who then passes the equipment on to fencers needing support.
With the visionary mission of ‘Fencing Together, Universal Fencing’, solidarity among members of the fencing community is empowered and enabled in a useful and practical way. Sometimes all it takes is a simple act of generosity to give someone the ability to participate in fencing who otherwise would not have an opportunity to do so.
A special collection point at the Junior & Cadet Championships is available for fencers to drop-off any gear they would like to donate. Olympic medalist and world champion Hungarian epee fencer Gabor Boczko led the way in Plovdiv by donating a mask as well as the glove he wore when he won his bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
‘This glove has special emotional meaning for me, and, as a result, along with my mask, I felt it would be the perfect gesture to donate it to this meaningful program and cause,’ he said.
Donate Your Fencing Gear is reaching out to all fencers, regardless of age, gender, weapon, or nationality to help others join and participate in fencing. The FIE will work together with national federations to distribute the equipment, prioritizing those who need and deserve it the most. Because access to quality fencing equipment is often the most difficult obstacle to taking part in the sport, this program helps break the barriers of entry to practice and competition.
Manufacturers are also invited to offer unsold stock items to the program.