During the Olympic Day celebrations held yesterday in Port Moresby, Leon Thomas of Oceania Fencing introduced the sport to students from different schools.
The Oceania region is considered as a development zone of fencing and Thomas believes that if they spread the word and generate more interest, the code can gain a following in other Oceania countries considering PNG’s population, geography and influence in the region.
Thomas, who took part in four World Fencing Championships, was pleased with the interest shown by participants in Port Moresby.
“It’s great to see the interest from the kids here. Fencing has grown largely in Oceania countries like Samoa, New Caledonia and Tahiti but we want to target PNG because it has a large population and having fencing introduced and grown here could help it grow in Oceania,” said Thomas.
Thomas explained that current fencers in Oceania qualify for the Olympics through Asia, but if the code grows in Oceania, then the region could have its own qualifying pathway to the Olympics.
Fencing was one of the original nine sports in the inaugural modern Olympic Games played in Athens, Greece in 1896.
It is one of only four sports that have been featured at every single Olympic competitions since 1896.