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Major Developments of the Fund in 2006

Having enlisted the voluntary participation of celebrated former and active athletes, leading coaches, specialists and analysts, the Fund has been able to gain a holistic picture of modern fencing in the world. This elite sport has been traditionally developed in European countries: France, Italy, Russia, Germany, Hungary, and Poland. Recent years have seen many athletes from Romania, the USA, China, and South Korea walk away with top prizes in the largest international tournaments. Fencing is dynamically developing in the Arab world and Latin America.

At the same time, the last decade has seen a substantial increase in the number of national fencing federations that have scarce organizational and financial resources.

In its honorable pursuit of public involvement in fencing, the International Fencing Federation (FIE, Federation Internationale d'Escrime), regrettably, is unable to provide most national federations with adequate material support, qualified coaches and specialists. This affects the quality and popularity of the sport. The Fund is making serious efforts to overcome these challenges faced by international fencing, having adopted as its motto the words of the Fund's founder Alisher Usmanov: "To help the weak to become strong and win in fair competition".



The Fund started off by helping organize and conduct the "Youth Games of CIS and Baltic States" and the meeting of national fencing federation presidents for the purpose of exchanging experience and working out joint action plans to promote the fencing movement worldwide. In the course of the Games, team representatives received free sets of sports gear and whites, body cords, and other equipment worth a total of US$ 80,000. In order to assist national fencing federations in need of funding, the Fund has developed and implemented three large continental charitable programs entitled

"Developing fencing in European countries",
"Developing fencing in the countries of Asia and Oceania",
"Developing fencing in the countries of Latin America",
donating for their implementation $106,000, $82,000, and $50,000, respectively.

Thanks to the Fund's donations and dedicated efforts of its activists and volunteers, Russia now has its own Paralympic fencing movement, which has already entered the international arena after a short period of its existence and has among its ranks several winners of major tournaments. The Fund donated US$ 87,000 for this purpose.

A major direction in the Fund's efforts is funding the organization and conduct of instructional courses and workshops for coaches, athletes, and specialists of national fencing federations. Two of such workshops have been held in Latin America, attended by coaches and specialists from over two dozen countries of the continent.

With the Fund's financial backing, representatives of eight European and Asian countries flocked to the instructional and training convention and workshop in Odesa. Meanwhile, the convention and workshop in Moscow drew representatives of 34 European and Asian countries.

The Fund's representative office in South Africa organized and conducted a workshop for fencing federation presidents, coaches, and athletes from various regions of the continent. The Fund provided over US$ 100,000 in funding for these events. Faced with a shortage of funds, many national fencing federations request the Fund's aid to finance their athlete's participation in major international tournaments. The Fund has helped 15 countries to pay for airline tickets and other costs of participation in such tournaments.

The Fund is actively assisting in the repairs and renovations of sports facilities used for coaching athletes and staging fencing competitions. Among them is the "Praga-Letnany" fencing center, which has been outfitted with modern fencing equipment using the Fund's donation of US$ 60,000 to the Czech Fencing Union.

The Fund has provided US$ 55,000 in funding to develop and manufacture wireless scoring systems. It is financing other promising research and development efforts, described in greater detail elsewhere on this site. The Fund will regularly update this section with reports of its charitable efforts for the world fencing community and everybody who has an interest in this wonderful sport.



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