Although the Fencing Association of India was founded in 1974, much was not done to accelerate the development of the game in seventies and eighties. However, appreciating the inherent and unearthed talents available in our country, the Sports Authority of India in its magnanimity adopted this game under its “Special Area Games” scheme and secured the services of few Coaches in shaping and moulding the unearthed talents especially from Kerala and Manipur over a period of five years who all became national champions in their respective events. The trainees have also had a couple of training-cum-competition programme abroad where too they performed well. The FAI had been organizing the National Championships for senior, juniors, cadets and sub-juniors regularly. With a view to spotting talent and encouraging school children to take up the game, the FAI introduced National Sub Junior competition (under 14 years of age) since 1999.
The game got a shot in the arm with the induction of new officials at the helm of affairs 1997. Since then a new chapter in the history of this youngest sport in India has opened and fortified with the assistance and cooperation of all officials of the affiliated units and patronage of the Government-Sports Authority of India and the Ministry of Sports.
With the dawn of a new era and century in 2001, the FAI adopted a multipronged approach and extended its net wider to cover all major aspects to grow ‘faster, stronger and higher’ so that the sport as well as the sportspersons who pursue the game could prosper and do better true to the saying: “We have our own limitations, but we have no limits to what we can achieve.’
During the last few years the FAI had participated in the World Senior Championship and World Junior & Cadet Championship once; Asian Senior Championship twice and the Commonwealth Championship once. We have participated in the World Junior and Cadet Championship held at Plovdiv (Bulgaria) in the first week of April 2004 and the Asian Senior Championship at Manila in the third week of April 2004.
The FAI had successfully conducted an IOC Solidarity Course for coaches and technical officials in August last at NIS Patiala.
The Association had obtained the services of a foreign coach, for the first time in 2002 for a period of 10 months and again during the current year to train our national ranking players both in junior and senior sections, for participation in international event so that the performance of the fencers in such competition improve further to succeed.
Yet an another milestone has been achieved in signing a joint protocol agreement for collaboration between the Italian Fencing Federation (FIS) and the FAI for mutual benefit as it is known Italy is one of the elite and leading nations in international fencing.
The FAI had also deputed a record number of fencers for the FIE training programme under their development plan during the last couple of years.
Publication of “Fencing Rules” for competition, preparation of Manual of instructions for conducting National Championships and import of fencing equipment with the assistance of Government are other major steps taken in the recent past.
NS, NIS Patiala has also undertaken the conduct of ‘Diploma Course and Certificate Course’ annually since 2000.
The FAI had also been organizing the National Championships for seniors, juniors and sub-juniors regularly. With a view to spotting talent and encouraging school children to take up this game, the FAI introduced National sub-junior competition (under 14 years of age) since 1999. These are only a few significant mile-stones achieved. Of course, there are many more landmarks to reach. True to the saying.