The Opening Ceremony and Start of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships 2011 in Catania


With the impressive backdrop of the ornate Gymnasius building in the University Plaza in downtown Catania


Event: IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships – Catania, Sicily 2012

With the impressive backdrop of the ornate Gymnasium building  in the University Plaza in downtown Catania, at the opening ceremony for the 2012 World Championships, Mr Alberto Martinez Vassallo, President of IWAS Wheelchair Fencing addressed the assembled dignitaries, athletes, officials, volunteers and national media organisations, and thanked  the Federation International d’Escrime (FIE) and the Italian Federazione de Scherma (FIS) for their continued investment in Wheelchair Fencing for the combining of the Wheelchair World Championships and the non-disabled World Championships, this being the third consecutive time this has happened following similar successful partnerships in Torino and Paris. He also extending a vote of thanks to the region of Sicily for their welcome and hosting of the event.

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing is particularly proud to bring over 150 world class wheelchair athletes attending from 27 countries to the world stage. Mr Martinez extended a personal welcome to our fencing family to the countries of Chile, Estonia and Macau, competing at the World Championships for the first time.

The 9th October sees the teams and athletes arriving in Catania for a training day prior to the official competition start on the 10th October, with Women’s Epee and Men’s Foil being the first scheduled events.

“We (IWAS) are very happy to be here in Catania for this prestigious event with IWAS Wheelchair Fencing and the FIE to showcase to the world the talent and determination of wheelchair fencers and to show that whether in a wheelchair or non-disabled, fencing is fencing! As our sports develop and progress with ever increasing technology, IWAS are focusing on providing our Athletes with a relevant organisation providing support and opportunities to promote the hard work and dedication that unites all athletes around the world. In particular the unification of the two championships under one banner is a highly positive move that we are keen to continue.”  Paul De Pace, President of IWAS




1.  The university Gymnasium Building is used as a background for projection of the Italian National Flag (main article image)

2. Local Dancers perform a fencing inspired performance

3. Alberto Martinez Vassallo, President IWAS Wheelchair Fencing makes his welcome address at the opening ceremony.

NB. All images are copyright IWAS 2011 and may only be used with permission, referencing and accreditation to IWAS

Author: Neil Ross, IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Head of Communication and Media.

Please call Neil on +39 3471 11 9959  for more information


Additional Information:
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) is a vibrant and constantly growing Federation providing opportunity for persons with a physical disability to participate in sport from grass roots to elite level.

As a multi-sport governing body, it has been in existence since 1952 and followed the vision of its creators and leader Sir Ludwig Guttmann, in establishing the Paralympic Games movement.

For more information and contacts please email or see our website – click here

IWAS Wheelchair Fencing – click here

Catania official website – click here

Live Results – click here