The ‘Fencers for Palestine’ project is organised by the Tischner European University together with the AZS-AWF Sports Club in Cracow. The project was co-financed by the MFA of the Republic of Poland as part of the 2007 development aid program. The initiative began in September and will continue till the end of the year.
The ‘Fencers for Palestine’ project organises training courses for 12 fencing instructors from the Palestinian Fencing Federation (PFF), and aims to improve the functioning of this organisation. The project teaches instructors new training techniques, improves their qualifications, and the knowledge gained by the Palestinians will then be passed on into future holding of activities for children and teenagers at other sporting clubs in areas like Nablus, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour. Major part of the project was realised at a sports camp in Zakopane, where for over three weeks, 12 Palestinian instructors took part in specialised classes run by Polish instructors and trainers. There the Palestinians became familiar with the practical aspects of what it is to be a fencing trainer. And in this way, one of the major problems for the Palestinian Fencing Federation – a complete lack of trainers- was already solved. Sporting equipment to the value of PLN 40 thousand, bought and donated to the PFF, marked the biggest donation in the eight year history of the Palestinian Fencing Federation.
Till now, the PFF could only send a single competitor to tournaments, because it only had one set of fencing equipment approved by the International Fencing Federation to its disposal. At present, the PFF has at its disposal six sets of equipment, which enables a complete team of six competitors to compete in a competition like the World Championships. This is a big step forward. The new equipment has already been put to good use at the Arabic Olympics in Cairo and Kuwait, where the Palestinian fencers succeeded with a few wins. The second part of the project is realised in Ramallah, the capitol of the Palestinian National Authority, and where a Polish fencing instructor, Aleksander Kostka is residing at present. More Polish bought equipment has been shipped to Ramalah and has now become indispensable in organising sporting activities for children and youth in the area. The main aim of the project is education through sport, which is an integral part of community development.
On September 27, at al-Almari, a refugee camp where fencing training has been taking place, a tournament had been organised in individual men’s epee fencing.
Film from the medal and cup award ceremony