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10 Jun - 12 Jun 2017
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17 Jun - 18 Jun 2017
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01 Jul - 04 Jul 2017
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05 Jul - 09 Jul 2017
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22 Jul - 23 Jul 2017
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12 Aug - 13 Aug 2017
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25 Aug - 28 Aug 2017
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02 Sep - 03 Sep 2017
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21 Sep - 24 Sep 2017
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Fencing News

The AFF is pleased to announce that we have received funding from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to support an intensive training and competition program for our Men's Foil team in the lead-up to their 2017 key benchmark events - the Asian Championships in June and the World Championships in July.

The allocation of funding by the AOC recognises the significant international results achieved by the Men's Foil squad in recent years, including back to back Top 8 finishes at the 2015 & 2016 World Junior Championships.

The AOC funds will be used to support the attendance of four fencers and a coach at the FIE Grand Prix event in Shanghai and the FIE World Cup in St Petersburg during May 2017, as well as the staging of two additional high performance training camps over the next three months.

The funding provided by the AOC has been allocated to the top four fencers in the current Men's Foil rankings - Sholto Douglas, Jesse Morris, Ned Fitzgerald and Lucas Webber. The team will be accompanied by National Foil Coach Antonio Signorello in Shanghai and Assistant National Foi Coach Rob di Pasquale in St Petersburg.

The AFF is grateful for the AOC's ongoing support of Austraian fencing and we value the AOC's assistance as we work towards qualifying fencers for the 2020 Olympics and beyond. We wish the Men's Foil team and their coaches all the best for a successful overseas campaign, as they seek to build on the encouraging results achieved to date.  

The AFF has opened nominations for athletes who are seeking selection to represent Australia at the 2017 SEA Pacific Cadet & Junior Fencing Championships. The Championships will be held in the Philippines from 10 to 17 July 2017. 

The SEA Pacific Championships represents an excellent developmental opportunity for Australian fencers who are seeking to experience international competition for the first time or who are looking to build on past results, in preparation for key events such as the Asian Cadet & Junior Fencing Championships. 
 
This year represents the third time the competition has been held. In previous years, participating countries have included Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Macau and Chinese Taipei. A number of Australian athletes medalled at this event in 2015 and 2016.
 
There is no limit to the number of Australian athletes who may attend this event, and in past years, Australia has been permitted to enter two teams for each of the Cadet and Junior Team events. We expect that age limit rules will apply as follows: athletes born 2000 to 2004 wil be eligible for Cadets, and those born 1997 to 2004 will be eligible for Juniors.
 
For foil fencers, this tour will also incorporate the Asian Cadet Circuit event (Foil only) to be held in the Philippines on 8 & 9 July 2017 (immediately preceding the SEA Pacific Championships).  
 
The SEA Pacific Championships competition will attract AFF ranking points in accordance with Appendix A of the AFF Selection Policy (click here). However, points will not be awarded for the Asian Cadet Circuit event (Foil only), as this is a new event.
 
Athletes are encouraged to consider (and discuss with their coaches) whether this event is appropriate for them at their current stage of development. Information about costs can be found on the website (click here) under "International Competitions and Trips". The full tournament schedule wil be made available once it has been released. 
 
Nominations will close on Sunday, 9 April 2017. To nominate for this event, click here.  To see who has already nominated, click here. Any athletes or coaches requiring further information about this event should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The AFF is delighted to announce that Australia has been awarded the right to host two events as part of the inaugural Asian Cadet Circuit to be introduced by the Fencing Confederation of Asia during 2017. The Asian Cadet Circuit is intended to enhance the development of young fencers in the Asia and Oceania region by providing additional competitive opportunities closer to home.

The Asian Cadet Circuit calendar for 2017 includes a Boys & Girls Epee event in Brisbane on 22 & 23 July 2017 and a Boys and Girls Sabre event in Sydney on 2 & 3 September 2017. The full calendar is as follows:

* July 8-9, Boys & Girls Foil - Pasig City, Philippines

* July 22-23, Boys & Girls Epee - Brisbane, Australia

* July 28-30, Boys & Girls Foil - Singapore

* August 19-20, Boys & Girls Sabre - Wakayama, Japan

* August 19-20, Boys & Girls Foil and Epee - Hong Kong

* September 2-3, Boys & Girls Sabre - Sydney, Australia

* September 30 & October 1 - Boys & Girls Foil and Epee - Taichon, Taiwan

scaled

Women in fencing

At the first international fencing competition for women in 1921, Uta Barding, a ‘strong and scientific Danish fencer’, won the event fencing to the strains of the Toselli Serenade.

How civilized.

Of course, there were no squealing scoring boxes to compete with, just the sound of clashing blades and perhaps the occasional ‘yes!’ from the fist-pumping Dane.

A sport for boys?

A sport involving one-on-one combat with a weapon might not be the obvious choice for girls who love to compete. Sabre traces its roots to military training and the mastery of killing. Epee was born out of dueling, an inherently male pursuit bound up with notions of manhood and honour. But from its infancy as a competitive pursuit in the early twentieth century, women have taken to the piste in droves.

There have been a few obstacles along the way, like long dresses and a stubborn male insistence that we couldn’t handle an epee or a sabre. But history lent us a hand. French fencing clubs, desperate for customers after World War 1 decimated its clientele, began offering special courses for women in the 1920s. Women fencers in Denmark held national foil championships between 1915 and 1918 and we have British and Danish women to thank for convincing the FIE to include a women’s foil competition at the 1924 Paris Olympics. The women’s team foil event was eventually included in 1960. Skirts were compulsory until 1935.

Too dangerous for girls

It took until the 1980s for a committee of five women, chaired by a man, to investigate issues of ‘protection and safety’ for women fencing epee. After much debate, women competed in this weapon internationally for the first time in the 1989 World championships and at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, but only using the traditional French grip handle on their weapons. Pistol grip was considered too dangerous.

Sabre followed suit eventually, despite misgivings the weapon was ‘too demanding (with) blows too violent for frail shoulders’. The first world championships for women’s sabre were held in Seoul in 1999 with the first Olympic event in Athens in 2004.

Hear us roar

Today women are more likely to have their voices heard in our sport, comprising six of the 22 Executive Committee positions on the International Fencing Federation, including Australian Helen Smith. And what better demonstration that women can do battle on many fronts than our own Evelyn Halls; fencer, wife, mother, lawyer, President of the Australian Fencing Federation and current national women’s epee champion?

Inspiration indeed.

By Angela Bensted

 

Source: Thierry Terret and Cecile Ottogalli-Mazzacavallo (2012) Women in Weapon Land: The Rise of International Women’s Fencing, The International Journal of Sport

For the first AFC competition of 2017, the D.H. McKenzie Tournament in Brisbane, the AFF is pleased to welcome back Ariana Klinkov (USA) as our international guest referee. Ariana visited Australia last year for AFC 3 and the Asian Masters Championships in Perth.

Ariana was the first female referee to be accredited at FIE level in all three weapons. She has extensive experience in refereeing at World Cups and World Championships, and was the first female referee to be selected to Referee for a World Championship Gold Medal Match.

The AFF will be conducting a refereeing seminar on Friday 24 March prior to AFC 1 facilitated by Ariana and National Officiating Manager Peter Creese. The focus will be on the craft of refereeing (those parts of the role which are not necessarily explicit in the rules) as well as looking at the rule changes which will apply at AFC competitions from 2017.

The seminar will be held at the competition venue from 5:00-6:30 pm, and all fencers, coaches and referees are welcome to please register online so that we know how many people to expect.