Founded in 1949, FISU stands for Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation). FISU's main responsability is the supervision of both the Summer and Winter Universiades, as well as the World University Championships. The General Assembly representing its members (163 National University Sports Federations) is FISU's main governing body. It elects for a four-year period the Executive Committee, which takes all the necessary decisions for the smooth running of FISU. Sixteen permanent commissions advise the Executive Committee in their specialised areas, thus facilitating its duties. FISU is funded through subscription, organising and entry fees, television incomes and marketing activities.
The Universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city. The Summer Universiade consists of 10 compulsory sports with 13 compulsory disciplines (Athletics - Basketball - Fencing - Football - Artistic Gymnastics - Rhythmic Gymnastics - Judo - Swimming - Diving - Water-Polo - Table Tennis - Tennis - Volleyball) and up to three optional sports chosen by the host country. The record figures are 10,622 participants in Shenzhen, China, in 2011 and 174 countries in Daegu, Korea, in 2003. The Winter Universiade consists of 6 compulsory sports with 10 compulsory disciplines (Alpine Skiing - Snowboarding - Ski Jumping - Cross-Country skiing - Nordic combined - Curling - Ice Hockey - Short Track Speed Skating - Figure Skating - Biathlon) and one or two optional sports, also chosen by the host country. It reached a record of 2,511 participants in Torino, Italy, in 2007 and a record number of 52 countries in Erzurum, Turkey, in 2011.
FISU's other important sporting events are the World University Championships (WUC). The development of university sport in the world created a new series of meets and competitions to complete the Universiade programme. FISU supports those competitions which represent the continuity of university sport and allow the federation to be better known. In 2010, FISU staged 27 WUCs, which attracted 6,000 participants from a total of 105 countries. For 2012, 28 WUCs were attributed. The WUC sports programme comprises: Archery - Badminton - Baseball - Basketball 3 on 3 - Beach Volleyball - Bridge - Chess - Cross Country - Cycling - Equestrian - Canoe Sprint - Floorball - Futsal - Golf - Handball - Field Hockey - Karate - Long Track Speed Skating - Match Racing - Netball - Orienteering - Rowing - Rugby 7 - Savate - Sailing - Shooting - Softball - Squash - Taekwondo - Triathlon - White Water Canoeing - Waterskiing - Weightlifting - Woodball - Wrestling.
The Universiades and Championships are open to all student athletes that have not been out of university or an equivalent institution for more than a year, and that are aged between 17 and 28. Any association which is a member of FISU may enter a team or an individual competitor. Entries are accepted from any country eligible for the Olympic Games and from any national federation affiliated to the appropriate international federation.
The FISU Conference takes place at the same time as the Universiade, complementing the sporting aspect with sociological studies and scientific research, thus illustrating the need to bring together Sport and the University Spirit. Also entitled 'Conference for the Study of University Sport', the FISU Conference tackles topics relating to the different aspects of sport and physical education.
Like the Universiade, the Conference is biennial. This is why FISU decided to give students and university sports officials the opportunity to meet more often to discuss subjects involving education, culture and sport, through the FISU Forum. The Forum takes place every two years, alternating with the Universiade years, each time in a different location.
Summer Universiade Shenzhen 2011
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Eric Saintrond - Secretary General/CEOThe FISU Secretariat is placed under the responsibility of the Secretary-General/CEO who, under the authority of the President, runs it with the assistance of the Directors; the Directors manage small units which are responsible for activities in their respective sectors of competence (Universiades, World University Championships and Education).
The FISU (International University Sports Federation) 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, cooperation and application amongst students, who one day will have responsibilities and even key positions in politics, the economy, culture and industry. As allies or competitors, perhaps even as antagonists, these men and women will have learned how to collaborate and deal with every eventuality, whilst respecting the ethical code enshrined in these values. Promoting sports values and sports practice also implies giving a new dimension to the university spirit in study, research, and discipline, through the strong affirmation of the full humanist development of the individual and of society at large. This development is not just intellectual, but also moral and physical.
University students should be able to practice sport at the level of their choice within their university. Even if they reach a high level of competition in their sport, students should not consider these competitions as an end in itself, but as an element enabling them to develop their own potential, in the same way as they prepare for their professional life. Seeing its international dimension, FISU brings together the university community in a broader sense, necessarily transcending the conflicts which divide countries and people, to achieve harmony between academic excellence and top-level sport, or competition and leisure sport. The world university sports movement also aims to become a powerful channel of communication for bringing together the various communities, the rich diversity of which is all too often a source of conflict today. This philosophy necessarily implies that FISU not only has an international dimension, but is also independent and free, regardless of the source of financial and technical support from its institutional, academic, financial or media partners.