Fencing and Tourism: Genoa and Liguria at the BIT fair in Milan with the Italian Championships 2024 and the European Championships 2025

The great Ligurian fencing events showcased at the International Tourism Exchange. In Milan, the Italian Fencing Federation raises the curtain on the most important national and international competitions of the two-year period 2024-2025: Genoa and Liguria are twice protagonists with the Italian Cadet and Junior Championships 2024 and the Senior European Championships 2025, events scheduled within of the programs of “Genoa 2024 European Capital of Sport” and “Liguria 2025 European Region of Sport”. The focus is also on the virtuous combination of fencing and tourism, which enhances the link between the “sport of weapons” and the public.

Immediately highlighted is the positive impact of fencing events on the territories: economic, tourist and social. The first Genoese event will be held from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th May. The Jean Nouvel pavilion in Genoa will host the Italian Cadet and Junior Championships. The Junior event of the Italian Fencing Federation will be characterized by the participation of 650 fencers, accompanied by their coaches and instructors, with an important impact for the city of Genoa and Liguria, thanks also to the presence of managers and many families. Epee, sabers and foil fencers aged between 14 and 20 will come from all over Italy. The Italian Championships will be the final act of a regional and interregional selection process: 12 national titles are up for grabs, 6 for the Cadet category (Under 17) and the same number for the Junior (Under 20).

The Italian Championhips will constitute the official testing ground for the European Championships scheduled for June 2025, again at the Jean Nouvel. Genoa will be the springboard towards the new four-year Olympic period towards Los Angeles 2028. Around 400-450 fencers from 45 nations will compete for continental titles and medals. Not just competitive spirit: the Organising Committee is already working towards the involvement of the world of schools, with the creation of contests for the choice of the mascot and the creation of promotional videos, and tourist packages are also being envisaged to combine with the sporting event the visit to the cultural and gastronomic excellences of the city.

Ligurian fencing is ready to face the important challenges of this two-year period. It all started in December 2021 with the recognition for Genoa as City Partner of Federscherma, the official presentation of the European candidature and the award which took place in June 2022 during the Congress of the European Fencing Confederation in Antalya (Turkey). Harmony, passion and willpower: these are the qualities of the Organising Committee, chaired by the entrepreneur Giuseppe Costa and made up of representatives of local fencing companies.

“The world of fencing, which has always been the flagship of our sporting movement at the Olympic Games and beyond, will be an extraordinary ally of Genoa and Liguria for the next two years – states Simona Ferro, Regional Councilor for Sport – The timetable of the Federscherma’s initiatives in our territory fits perfectly with the continuity that the local administrations have managed to guarantee with “Genoa 2024 European Capital of Sport” and “Liguria 2025 European Region of Sport”. The Italian and the European Championships will bring more than 1,000 fencers to Liguria: these are events of utmost importance that go beyond the great sporting value, given the important tourist benefits they will bring to our Region”.

“There is no better setting than that offered by BIT fair to present these two events which will see our city at the center of the Italian and international fencing scene. The Italian Cadet and Junior Championships, which are part of the schedule of Genoa 2024 European Capital of Sport and which will see the young Italian promises take to the stage, will be a tasty appetizer for the Senior European Championships of the following year – declares the Councilor for Sport, the Sports facilities and tourism Alessandra Bianchi – Genoa is ready to welcome fencers, coaches, managers but also family members and enthusiasts who will be able to discover the city and all it has to offer also thanks to the tireless work of the Organising Committee which with great competence, professionalism and passion has taken care of every single detail inherent to these two important events”. Councilor Bianchi then handed over the flag of “Genoa 2024 European Capital of Sport” to the Italian Fencing Federation.

The Federal President Paolo Azzi, from La Nucia – in Spain – where he is following the Italian expedition to the Under 15 and Under 17 Mediterranean Championships, underlined: “Genoa is a symbol of tradition and certainty for Italian fencing, an extraordinary showcase for our country and our movement internationally. The Italian Cadet and Junior Championships next May will be an important test event in view of a big European Championship, in which I am sure that we will confirm at a continental level the organisational vocation that has always made Italy one of the most appreciated destinations.”

For the FIS, in the room, the Member of the Board Alberto Ancarani: “The Genoa challenge starts from afar and represents for us a guarantee of experience, efficiency and splendid hospitality, which our Under 17s and Under 20s will be able to enjoy first, with the their families, for the 2024 Junior Championships, and then all continental fencing in the 2025 European Championship. We will bring this prestigious international event back to Italy after 13 years and we are convinced that it will be the right mix between the very high sporting level and the embrace of the territory to the entire fencing community of Europe. The synergies in place, the involvement of so many operational and enthusiastic components, will make this European Championship an event to be proud of.”

“The European Fencing Championships contain numerous opportunities – states Beppe Costa, president of the Organising Committee – On the one hand, it will be a unique opportunity to make this discipline, already on display starting from the Junior National Championships, known to a growing number of Genoese and Ligurians and on the other the image of Genoa and Liguria will be promoted in the eyes of the international delegations and the many enthusiasts who will follow this important competition on television and in live streaming throughout the continent. Fencers, coaches, managers and their families will be able to come into contact with the cultural, tourist and gastronomic attractions of our city. In addition to the FIS, the European Fencing Confederation and local institutions, our Organising Committee will also interact with high schools through the creation of special contests for the mascot and promotional videos”.

“Since 2021, a group of passionate Ligurian managers has been working to realize the dream of organising the European Championships – explains the President of the Federscherma Regional Committee Giovanni Falcini – The first step was that of establishing a Promotion Committee, chaired by Alessandro Garrone, who achieved the objective of the award of the event thanks to a detailed application dossier shared by the National Federation, of which Genoa is a city partner, and appreciated by the European Fencing Confederation. Subsequently, with the birth of the Organising Committee led by Beppe Costa, we began to work daily as a team to take care of the numerous organisational aspects of an event whose rehearsals will be staged at the Italian Championships. Fencing boasts a great tradition in Liguria and the fencing clubs, in particular with their managers, coaches and instructors, are demonstrating great cohesion”.