Satellite World Cups added to wheelchair fencing calendar
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Wheelchair Fencing has announced the addition of a new competition aimed at developing countries and athletes.
The IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Satellite World Cup will sit below the existing World Cup, regional Championships and youth and senior World Championships – and will offer points towards the world rankings.
The Satellite World Cup is designed to offer new countries and fencers the chance to compete on the international stage, but with lower costs than other competitions.
Athletes will be able to gain up to 30 per cent of world ranking points and classification will also be available at each event.
The costs and logistics of hosting will also be less than the higher levels. It is hoped that this will attract and develop more organisers, diversifying the pool of nations available to stage major events.
Alberto Cruz, IWAS Wheelchair Fencing’s Development Officer, said: “After the successful launch of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Academy in 2021, we have been looking at other ways we can encourage more countries, coaches, athletes and referees to build their wheelchair fencing programmes and hosting capabilities.
“The IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Satellite World Cup is the perfect environment for new fencers and support staff to experience international competition. Athletes will compete in categories A, B or C and so must be classified beforehand, and this is something they can do at these new events. With the added incentive of gaining partial world ranking points and a lower cost to participate and host compared to other, more high level events, we are really excited to be able to offer this opportunity.”
The first Satellite World Cup will take place in Frejus, France, from 29 April – 1 May. More are expected to follow in Klagenfurt, Austria; Sao Paulo, Brazil and an edition in Asia in 2022.
In addition, IWAS Wheelchair Fencing has more development activities in the pipeline. These include a ‘Development Cup’ which will be an open competition, without categories, giving new fencers the chance to compete against their peers from other countries for the first time. More information will follow.
“Our activities have already attracted new countries such as Costa Rica and Jamaica to wheelchair fencing,” Cruz continued. “We hope that by building the calendar at lower levels we can encourage more nations to take to the pistes and also host, as well as support the growth of those who have already joined us.”