Napoli, 11 October, 2017 – With under two years to go until the 2019 Summer Universiade, FISU President Oleg Matytsin and Secretary General/CEO Eric Saintrond visited Naples and Rome to discuss the course of preparations and pledged to work closely with the Organising Committee to “invest in efficient and creative solutions”.

During the three-day working visit, FISU executives met with Vincenze de Luca, President of the Campania Region, and senior officials of the Italian sports federations, including President of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) Giovanni Malago; CONI Secretary General Roberto Fabbricini; President of the Italian University Sports Federation (CUSI) Lorenzo Lentini; and Raimondo Pasquino, head of ARU (Agenzia Regionale Universiadi, the local body in charge of the preparations for the Universiade).  

President Matytsin and Eric Saintrond also had a chance to visit the office of ARU to meet with the staff and receive first-hand information about the preparation process.

Speaking about the visit, President Matytsin said: “Italy has a truly great history of hosting Universiades, starting with the inaugural edition of 1959. However, the Napoli 2019 Organising Committee has had less preparation time than for recent Universiades so, together with the organisers, we have to double our efforts in order to provide the world’s best student athletes with an unforgettable positive experience of the Napoli 2019 Universiade. FISU will continue to provide as much support as possible in helping to find efficient and creative solutions to all of the challenges that are associated with hosting a global event of this size.”

Since last year, FISU’s Summer Universiade department has been working with ARU on a daily basis. In addition, FISU has signed a contract with EPIC, a US-based strategic event planning company, to help ARU meet the tight schedule for the preparations. 

Delegates from ARU recently attended Taipei 2017, giving them invaluable insight into the particularities of hosting this major multi-sport event. Next month, FISU will also organise a debriefing for ARU staff from representatives of the Taipei 2017 Organising Committee.  

This does not mean, however, that FISU wishes to see the Universiade in Napoli replicate the recent edition in Taipei. On the contrary, President Matytsin was keen to stress that each Universiade has its own unique qualities.

“Every Universiade is exclusive in its own way, and this is also true for Napoli 2019. Campania is a genuinely special place for visitors. The rich culture and hospitality of the region are its undoubted advantages, but much remains to be done to make the anniversary edition of the Universiade a success,” the FISU President said. 

FISU invited the Italian contingent to pay special attention to the staffing of ARU; practical, day-to-day interaction with all relevant Italian sports federations; and a timely renovation of all venues to allow sufficient time for hosting test events.

According to President Matytsin, the meetings with the Italian authorities gave out positive signals, which reflect the understanding of the challenges ahead. “We have an impression that the authorities of the region are not only well-informed about the preparation process, they also fully understand the seriousness of the challenge and are committed to acting in a quick and efficient manner in order to solve the existing issues.

“It is also very reassuring to see the Campania Region, CONI, CUSI and the Italian academic community join their efforts and use their experience to successfully implement this project.”

The 30th Summer Universiade, which marks 60 years since the very first Universiade in Turin in 1959, will take place at the administrative centre of the Campania Region, the city of Naples and its surrounding area from 3 to 14 July 2019. Naples was announced as the host of the 2019 Universiade in May 2016, becoming the fifth edition of the Summer Universiade to be staged in Italy.

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The International University Sports Federation – FISU Founded in 1949, FISU stands for Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation). FISU was formed within university institutions in order to promote sports values and encourage sports practice in harmony with and complementary to the university spirit. Promoting sports values means encouraging friendship, fraternity, fair-play, perseverance, integrity and cooperation amongst students, who one day may have responsibilities and even key positions in politics, the economy, culture and industry.   

Open to student-athletes aged between 17 and 25 (for events in 2016 and 2017 the upper age is still 28), FISU’s events consist of Summer and Winter Universiades and the World University Championships. Universiades are multisport events staged in odd-numbered years, while the World University Championships are single-sport events, staged in even-numbered years. Besides its sporting events, FISU stages educational events, such as the FISU Forum on

University Sport, the FISU World Conference on Development through Sport, the FISU World Conference on Innovation – Education – Sport, the FISU Sport Education Summit and the FISU Seminars.

With FISU’s motto being “Excellence in Mind and Body”, all events include educational and cultural aspects, bringing together sport and academia from all over the world to celebrate in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. FISU cooperates in developing its events and programmes with all major international sports and educational organisations. As major outcomes of those collaborations, in 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed the International Day of University Sport to be celebrated on 20 September, and the Anti-Doping Textbook and teaching materials were developed with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). FISU is composed of 170 Member Associations (National University Sports Federations). The FISU General Assembly elects the members of the FISU Executive Committee, its board of directors. Fourteen permanent committees advise the Executive Committee in their specialised areas. For the daily administration of FISU, the FISU Executive Committee relies on the Secretary General, who is assisted by the FISU staff. FISU’s headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.  

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