We, the organising committee, the city of Alkmaar and the KNAS, the Royal Dutch Fencing Federation, are very proud that we have been elected to host the European Veteran Championships of 2018. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all of you in May.
The community of veteran fencers in The Netherlands has really developed wonderfully over the last few years. Where there were relatively few tournaments some 15 years ago, there is now a lively veteran scene. Only a few years ago we even had a European Veteran Champion. The enthusiasm that the veterans radiate, has now resulted in the tournament that you will be visiting as a competitor, referee, coach, physiotherapist or supporter.
I can assure you that everybody related to the organisation is extremely motivated and wants to make these Championships a tremendous success. We are aiming to organize a perfect competition in wonderful surroundings. In Alkmaar, Hoorn, Haarlem, and of course Amsterdam there is not only a lot of beauty and history to be found; you can also have a lot of fun. There is plenty of opportunity to celebrate successes or to gather new steam in order to start training for next year’s competition.
Fencing is of course the most beautiful sport. It is also one of the foundations of the Olympic movement. The first Dutch Olympic Committee consisted mainly of fencers and it was a fencer who was operationally responsible for the organization of the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928. The KNAS is extremely happy that, while some sports have to fight for their Olympic status, fencing has recently been awarded two extra Olympic Gold Medals. This indicates that we have a great future. And unlike many other sports we also have a great and long past.
Fencing is one of the sports that you can practice from an early age up to an age of serious seniority. I once met an 80 year old French epee fencer who told me he had started out training three times a week when he was 8, had reduced the frequency to twice a week around the age of 60, but still continued his routine. In order to be able to make such a career possible you need fellow veteran fencers. So, in order to make this possible we need yòu. Without all your training, your commitment and your investment in fencing, this tournament would not be there. We just facilitate what came into being through all of you.
We are very grateful and thank you for making these Championships possible.
President of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Algemene Schermbond KNAS