Global fencing community joins together to ‘Fence for our Planet’ on FIE’s World Fencing Day
Fencers around the world joined together and made a difference on the International Fencing Federation (FIE) World Fencing Day staged last weekend.
The third of the now-annual days took place on Saturday 7 September with fencers of all ages and standards doing their bit under this year’s theme of “Fencing for our Planet”.
World Fencing Day is now a permanent fixture in the fencing calendar, held on Saturday of the second weekend in September and sees Olympic and World Championship athletes, local fencing clubs, national fencing federations and fencing coaches all join together to demonstrate fencing in their respective regions. A significant number of the FIE’s 153 member federations from every corner of the planet engaged in a variety of activities, and federations, clubs, athletes, individuals, manufacturers and fans who love and are active in some way in the sport of fencing all join in the festivities.
For this year, they came together and committed to help the world be a better place extending goodwill, sustainability and humanitarian gestures to their communities. Projects and events ranged from offering refillable water-bottle stations at fencing clubs, planting trees and recycling roadside waste; to visiting an orphanage and care homes, as well as giving fencing demonstrations and introducing various audiences in a whole manner of different locations to the sport.
The staff of the FIE Headquarters in Lausanne underlined their commitment to the day and event theme by leading by example on a very local scale. In line with an office and organisation paying increasing attention to sustainability, they collectively decided to plan a beach cleaning near the office and along the shores of Lake Geneva on a section from Vidy beach to St. Sulpice.
The FIE HQ organised the initiative in cooperation with two partners, Cheval et Environnement, who supply an environmentally friendly means of transport service to dispose of garbage, and the Association for the Conservation of the Leman Lake (ASL) who provide the tools to pick the garbage abandoned on streets and beaches. The collected items will be inserted in the database of ASL and analysed further as part of a statistical effort aiming to learn more and better understand how to protect Leman Lake. This serves to amplify and broaden the impact of the FIE staff garbage-removal contribution to help even more people and the environment.
The Mumbai Fencing Association also organised a beach cleaning programme on 7 September and was one of many events which were showcased across social media worldwide with the hashtags #fencingday and #FencingForOurPlanet, from Cornwall, England, to Athens, Greece, and the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, India, and the satellite tournament being staged in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
As part of their campaign, the FIE encouraged fencing teams, organisations and individuals to share their good humanitarian and sustainable deeds for the good of planet with photos on FIE’s social media channels of Facebook, Twitter or Instgram. Those that contributed then be entered automatically into a draw to win an FIE 105th Anniversary Commemorative medal.
The FEI’s hope for 2019’s World Fencing Day was that fencers could show the world that fencing is not just a sport, but a positive state of mind that can benefit both the individual and the communities in which they live. Judging by the response globally, the fencing community under the ‘Fencing for our Planet’ theme have more than showed that they really care for the world and the people and communities within it.