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FISU President Opens WU Sport Science Conference

World Conferences 14 February 2009


Opening Speech FISU President Killian

It is my pleasure and honour, to address you today on the occasion of the official opening of this extremely important Sport Science Conference here in Harbin, P.R. China.

The fact that the University of Harbin has decided together with the local and regional authorities to host an International Scientific Conference as part of the 24th Winter Universiade is indeed very important and significant for FISU and the development of University Sport. This Conference will showcase the core values of FISU as it focuses itself on sport and education.

FISU President KillianWith this Conference, we are continuing a FISU tradition of having a sport and educational event take place in conjunction with one another. After having welcomed a “young research seminar” in Innsbruck, Austria from 2004-2005, and a medical conference in Turin, Italy in 2007, we are here today ready to begin the largest educational event ever organised in the context of a Winter Universiade.

There are very few conferences of this nature that are organized around a winter sports event. This is why FISU is extremely pleased and supportive of having this conference here in the Winter Capital of the world, Harbin, Peoples Republic of China. We strongly believe that the complexity of factors that had to be taken into consideration when organizing a winter sporting event of this magnitude, allows us as human beings to focus in on the topic of “how each of us can live in harmony with nature”.

I believe that bringing together Mayors, Political Leaders, University Rector’s, Sport Technicians and Specialists on this very topic here, is particularly important because the combination of different experiences of people coming from very different backgrounds is the only way to increase our knowledge on this subject and to create the appropriate environment for future generations.

Of course, all individuals in sport have to focus on their body as a way to obtain better performances, whether those performances are related to physical aspects, to intellectual efforts, or to both. Sometimes, as humans, we forget that we are part of nature and that our well-being is in fact dependant on our environment. Sport has a way of demonstrating how strong the relationship between the body, the mind, and nature can really be. By developing the physical aspects of humans, coupled with a particular intellectual approach, should also be used as a key element in understanding the challenges of the future.

Indeed, there is a connection with the technology we use in every day life and the technology that spawned from sport. Many basic essentials of our everyday life have been developed or created because sports men and women needed them.

We also have to draw your attention to the fact that since 2007, for the first time in the history of mankind, more people are living in cities rather than in the country side. Therefore, specific organisations need to be created and the right structures must be implemented to handle this transformation to a modern day society. Additionally, this change is of course challenging to our winter sport cities as well as the universities and educational systems.

It is the perception we have about our environment that needs to be redefined. It is imperative that we establish clear priorities for the development of our society today. Concerning FISU, and University Sport, the concentration of a population in some areas will affect the development of the universities and their respected sport venues.

Perhaps people in search of green (or white) environmental spaces will look to the Universiades as an opportunity to reconnect with nature. As sport is interrelated with the environment, people can enjoy the simplicity of watching an athlete compete against himself, against another opponent, or even against nature (in the case alpine skiing, etc.). With this being said, there is a possibility of an increased population in the cities which will lead to an increased spectatorship of the FISU games.

Sport in general and winter sport in particular have so much to do with being ominous with nature. For succeeding in this sometimes unpredictable challenge, we often have to overcome it by bringing together diverse people with different skills. In general that is what University Sport encompasses: people coming together from various backgrounds to cooperate and build the future in a positive direction. The state of mind existing in University Sport, which is made of respect, friendship and fairness, can help student-athletes gain higher positions and create networks that they would not have covered otherwise.

The current issues now involved with winter sports are more crucial than ever as we hear more and more about climate change. To practice sport we all need a space to occupy, and no matter if it is inside or outside, sport is linked with the ecological environment, such as urbanization, youth development, as well as the general health of the world’s population. This is one of the paramount reasons why we, FISU, are very pleased that all of these topics are part of the program of this conference here in Harbin, in the Peoples Republic of China. This further illustrates that sport as we know it can be used as a platform for debating important issues that are so deeply linked around the globe.

In closing, let me congratulate all of the regional authorities who have invested their money, time and energy in developing the wonderful new venues that our athletes from around the world will use here during the 24th Winter Universiade.

I would also like to thank all of the participants who have come to Harbin to enjoy the fruits of your labour, and to make the 24th Winter Universiade a huge success.

Finally, to all of the participants who have come from far and wide to be participants in this Sports Science Conference, thank you very much. I hope that each of you have found something of value that might make a difference in the lives of the citizens of your country.


Singers at the Opening Ceremony of the Conference







Today, February 14th, FISU President Killian opened the 2009 Winter Universiade Sport Science Conference (WUSSC). The conference is an endorsed FISU Educational event and is staged at the Department of Physical Education of Harbin Engineering University from February 14th to 16th.
International well-known experts and scholars will deliver keynote speeches concerning ecological environment, urbanization, physical education and sports training, sports and fitness, science and technology to sports etc.

Harbin Mayor Mr. Zhang Xiaolian

A series of important academic activities are scheduled, such as the Academic Meeting, the Mayors’ Forum and the University Presidents’ Forum. The conference will give the participants the opportunities to exchange opinions on the following topics: “Nature, Innovation, Transcendence, Harmony” which is the main theme with the following subthemes: Ecological Environment and Winter Sports; Regional Characteristics, Urbanization and Winter Sports; Science & Technology and Winter Sports; University Education and Winter Sports and Winter Sports and the Promotion of Youth Health.

15 Mayors, 20 University Presidents and 300delegates from around the globe are here in Harbin to actively participate in the discussions.

After the opening speech of Mr. Killian, a number of authorities delivered their welcome speeches, i.e. Mr. Martinus Beukers, Representative of the University Presidents’ Forum and Vice-President of the KULeuven (BEL); Mr. Andrej Veric, Representative of the Mayors’ Forum and Deputy Mayor of Maribor; Mr. Liu Zhigang, Executive Chairman of the 2009 WUSSC and President of HEU; Mr. Zhang Xiaolian, Mayor of Harbin Municipal Government; Mr. Cheng Youdong, Chairman of the 2009 WUSSC and Vice-Governor of Heilongjiang Provincial Government; and Mr. Zhang Xinsheng, Honorary Chairman of the 2009 WUSSC and Vice-Minister of Education.