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Interview with Frantisek Janda

Frantisek Janda (Czech Republic) about the activities of the International Charity Fund “For Future of Fencing”

Frantisek Janda from Czech Republic was one of the most-in-demand referees at the European Fencing Championship in Ghent that concluded with a splendid victory of the Russian team that won 10 medals (three gold, four silver and three bronze medals). Nevertheless he didn’t forget about his connection to the Fund, the European Office of which had been established in Prague. He talked a lot to the representatives of the National Federations of different countries, to athletes and coaches. He told about the results of his conversations to Tatyana Koltchanova, reporter of our web-site.

 Frantisek, how do you think, do representatives of the European Federations know about the Fund activities, how do they appraise the results of the Fund work in 2006-2007?

 I think that every third fencer in Europe knows about the Fund activities, because many of them took part in trainings organized by the Fund on the continent. These trainings take place in the centre of Europe, at the training ground of Prague-Letnany, well equipped at the expense of the Fund. These athletes know full well, due to whose money they have got a possibility to come to Prague and to take part in training. This training is very popular in Europe, because we invite one strong team there; fencers from 11-12 countries, where our kind of sport doesn’t have  long term traditions yet, have an opportunity to train with this team. This training is well-known. Already at the beginning of the fencing season the representatives of many federations ask me the same question: “When can we come to Prague to train with strong partners?” The one training is organized for men, the other one for women. Absolutely all athletes, who attended this training, are grateful for the help of the Fund and are glad that there are people, who care about the future development of fencing.

When will these trainings take place this year?

The first training will be organized in October before the European Junior Championship in Prague, and we also schedule the second training for adult athletes, but the exact date of its start hasn’t been fixed yet.

Do all the federations know that they can ask the Fund for help?

All the Federations do know it, but does this information reach athletes and coaches? We know for sure that all the participants of the trainings (they are 50-60 fencers) know about the Fund. They all train wearing T-shirts with the Fund logo, you can see the logo in the training hall design, and the Fund representatives tell the participants about the Fund activities. I must say, all fencers who got the Fund help, speak of the Fund and its Founder, Alisher Usmanov, in high terms. But from another point of view the Fund should popularize its achievements, using trainings and competitions. We should not show modesty in such matters. I think that if everybody sees the Fund logo at the Junior Championship in Prague, the information about the Fund will reach every participant.

What countries of Europe are the Fund followers?

Europe sets trends in fencing. But I can divide 42 countries-members of the European Fencing Confederation into two groups. The first group is fencing elite, extra-league, that includes Russia, Italy, France, Germany and a number of countries strong in particular kinds of weapons. Usually they have no problems and don’t need serious help. But they are a minority. Other countries (more than 30 countries) are in the second league, and they need care of the International Charity Fund “For Future of Fencing” badly.

How do European athletes appraise the opportunity to not only win the Championship medals but also get money of the prize fund, established by Alisher Usmanov?

You know, the European Champion is a very honorable title, but it`s unusual for fencers not only win the Championship title but also get 4000 Euro. That`s why I’ve heard many words of gratitude to Mr. Usmanov.

 The International Charity Fund “For Future of Fencing” kindly thanks the representatives of all the European Federations for high appraisal of the Fund work. All the comments and wishes expressed at the European Fencing Championship in Ghent, Belgium, will be analyzed and taken into account in future work of the Fund. 

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