The Oceania Fencing Confederation’s (OFC) Regional Development Officer (RDO), Leon Thomas, remained in Fiji for another busy week after the formation of the Fiji Fencing Federation (FFF). This included Come and Try sessions, beginner classes, coaching workshops at the International School Suva (ISS), community classes, and the first meeting of the newly formed Executive. The OFC is in the process of donating ten sets of competition standard equipment to the FFF.
On February 17, Leon Thomas departed Fiji bound for Port Moresby, PNG. Fencing PNG (FPNG), which gained membership of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) in 2019, had invited him to assist with its flourishing program. Demonstrations and Come and Try sessions were conducted at both Port Moresby International School (POMIS) and Port Moresby Grammar School.
The ongoing program of coach education saw the FPNG coaches introduced to the individual coaching methodology and supervision of their excellent work with established fencers and new recruits. The FIE gives Equipment Aid to new Federations and FPNG was very pleased to receive this Aid. It now has enough resources to begin the substantial work developing fencing in Port Moresby and beyond.
With the advent of COVID-19, the international activities of the OFC and its RDO have been put on hold until advice is received that recommencement is possible. Fencing competition has ceased worldwide until 2021 at least, with the remaining Olympic Qualifiers still to be held. Fencers continue to train in isolation, with the support of the FIE, OFC and the National Fencing Federations. Discussions, forums, meetings and training sessions are continuing via a range of social media platforms.