The Oceania Fencing Confederation (OFC) has continued its expansion, with Papua New Guinea set to become its eighth member. Following an evaluation by members of the International Fencing Federation’s (FIE) Executive Committee, the Papua New Guinea Fencing Federation was granted provisional affiliation of the FIE in September.
The Oceania Fencing Confederation has worked with the PNG Olympic Committee throughout 2019 to develop the sport of fencing in Papua New Guinea. Working with members of PNG’s Fencing Federation, the OFC has conducted a training course for ten new coaches, run demonstrations for school and community groups, and helped the Federation plan for its future development. One special highlight of the year was demonstrating PNG’s newest sport at a special Sport Expo in May, where the special guest in attendance was IOC President Thomas Bach, who was an Olympic Gold Medallist in Fencing. The Federation has also demonstrated their sport at PNG’s Olympic day in June, and established the country’s first fencing club in Port Moresby.
The Papua New Guinea Fencing Federation and the Oceania Fencing Confederation will continue collaborating in 2020 to further develop the sport. Planned activities for next year include expanding the number of school programs, more training of coaches and referees, organising an international training tour, and hosting local competitions. Looking to the future, this development will lead to further growth and participation in the sport in Papua New Guinea, as well as training of athletes to undertake international competitions, starting with the next Oceania Cadet (Under 17) Fencing Championships in 2021.