FISU President Oleg Matytsin and FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond congratulated the newly appointed Mayor of Chengdu, Wang Fengchao, who will also assume the responsibility of overseeing preparations for next summer’s FISU World University Games in the city. 

“On behalf of FISU, we are all looking forward to the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games in August next year and are sure that the Organising Committee will put in place a fantastic event,” wrote the FISU leadership in a letter addressed to the Mayor. They also extended an invitation for him to join the virtual FISU Executive Committee meeting on 8 October. 

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of FISU’s key meetings have been held virtually, including those with the Organising Committee of the Chengdu 2021 Games. 

“We have not been able to make inspection visits to Chengdu since months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Saintrond. “We, along with the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC), had strongly hoped that we would be able to send our staff and hold meetings in Chengdu, to assist the Organising Committee but it has not been possible so far.” 

“However, we have been in continuous contact with the Organising Committee nearly on a daily basis, throughout the period of this pandemic,” added Saintrond. “Thanks to this very close cooperation, the work has progressed even during the lockdown and I applaud the Organising Committee for their enthusiasm and work during this difficult period.” 

FISU Summer Games Director Marc Vandenplas said his team had worked closely with the Organising Committee as well as the Chengdu Mayor’s office, and that he hoped to continue in this fashion. 

“I want to congratulate the new Mayor of Chengdu for his nomination and hope that FISU will have the same privileged relation with him as before,” said Vandenplas. “We have had regular meetings with the Mayor, his staff and the Organising Committee and we hope this very efficient and fruitful process will not only be followed but reinforced.” 

“In the present Organising Committee structure, the role of the Mayor is essential, and I hope that this official nomination will facilitate the decision-making process and help us finalise some important and urgent matters!” 

Among the urgent matters, a recent major development was the confirmation of China Central Television (CCTV) as the host broadcaster for the Games. In addition, the renovation and development of venues is on track.

The renovation and upgradation project of the Sichuan Gymnasium, for example, got underway a few days ago. The Sichuan Gymnasium will be the competition and warm-up venue for basketball at Chengdu 2021 and renovation is scheduled to be completed by February 2021. It is a 1,300-square metre multi-purpose facility that will be able to host events of handball, tennis, basketball, gymnastics, fencing, wushu as well as artistic performances and commercial exhibitions, in the future.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the upgradation of the rowing venue was also held recently. The Sichuan Water Sports School, located in Xinjin District in Chengdu, will be the rowing competition venue where 15 gold medals will be awarded. It is equipped with 2,350-metre long, 150-metre wide artificial competition lanes.

“We have held nearly 100 meetings with the Organising Committee over the past six months,” said Summer Games Deputy Director Jing Zhao. “We have been able to monitor the progress of the venues as well as developments in other functional areas. In fact, registrations for the event are now open and we have already received the intent to participate from a significant number of our member federations.” 

The Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games are scheduled for 18-29 August 2021.

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 sports practice in harmony with 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 key positions in politics, economy, culture and industry.

All FISU sports events include educational and cultural aspects, bringing together athletes and academia from all over the world to celebrate with a 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 annually on 20 September – an event that has seen huge growth in its first few years. 

FISU is composed of 174 Member Associations (National University Sports Federations). The FISU General Assembly elects the members of the FISU Executive Committee, its board of directors. A total of 14 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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