Lausanne, 21 September– Following 24 hours packed with exciting and engaging activities around the world, FISU President Oleg Matytsin declared the second International Day of University Sport “a great success”.
Launched in 2016 and officially proclaimed by UNESCO, the International Day of University Sport on 20 September does more than drive general awareness of FISU’s work. It also creates links between universities and their local communities, focused around sport, physical activity and healthy living.
In Tartu, the International Day of University Sport combined with activities of the European Week of Sport, thanks to Estonia’s current position as incumbent in the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. In Papua New Guinea, five events brought campuses and communities together. FISU’s broadcast partner, Eurosport, covered the day.
“FISU is determined to ensure that university sport has a positive impact both on and off the campus. This is the best way FISU can help all young people lead healthier lives,” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin. “When FISU was created, students had far more physically active lives than they do now. Childhood obesity simply did not exist. But now, there are many countries where one in five children are either overweight or obese. At the same time, in some countries, only half of children play team sports. These are challenges for all of us working with young people and sport.”
Other activities around the world also celebrated the success of student athletes and the importance of sport on campus. In China, the International Day of University Sport was celebrated during the National Student Games.
In France, Sports Minister Laura Flessel invited French medallists from the recent Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade to her office, in order to congratulate them personally. “We will unblock the way for every student who wants to practise physical activity,” said Flessel. “We should not be satisfied with a number of 150,000 for enrolled student athletes [in France].”
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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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