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Powerlifting, Kickboxing, Finswimming and Bandy are now FISU recognised sports




LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND Following the recognition in May of Dance Sport and Flying Disc, FISU has accepted the application dossiers submitted by four international sport federations. The University Sports Movement has now welcomed Bandy, Finswimming, Kickboxing and Powerlifting as FISU recognised sports.


Bandy in action. FIB © All Rights Reserved


The growing interest from international federations in joining the University Sports Movement is now being directly addressed by FISU, which will endorse events organised by these newly recognised sports. The internal review of FISU’s sports programme has led to the implementation of four major changes – a gradual shift to the intra-university format of competitions in team sports (FISU World University Leagues and World Cups), a reduction of the programme size with fewer events, the creation of two sport clusters (combat sports and mind sports) and a new focus on endorsed events for FISU recognised sports.



“The recognition of sports beyond our current programme is a step forward for the University Sports Movement as it enlarges its reach to more and more student-athletes from different types of sports and countries,” FISU President Oleg MATYTSIN said. “FISU encourages these sport federations to continue to work in the university sports realm and further the messages of education and sport”.



Here’s some key bits of information about the four newest members of the FISU recognised sports group.



The Federation of International Bandy (FIB) is the international governing body for the sport of Bandy. The federation was formed in 1955 in Stockholm and has been based in Sweden since 1979. In 2001, Bandy was officially recognized by the IOC and is currently a full signatory of the WADA Code. The sport is played by over 60’000 licensed players and FIB has 27 national members of the federation as of 2017.


The Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) is the world governing body of the sport of Finswimming which is an underwater sport consisting of four techniques involving swimming with the use of fins either on the water’s surface using a snorkel or underwater. Events exist over distances similar to swimming competitions for both swimming pool and open water venues and competitions are organised at world and continental levels. Since 2014, FISU has endorsed CMAS’ University Finswimming competitions.


The World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) is an international organization of Kickboxing which develops, supports and governs the sport. There are an estimated 3M exercisers and competitors in the sport, with 18 national federations with university activities. WAKO offers 7 different competition styles throughout its events and is a member of Sport Accord, OCA, WADA and IWGA. There are five continental divisions functioning under the auspices of the WAKO International Federation.


“By being recognised by FISU, we have reached a new milestone in our international status,” WAKO President Dr. Borislav Pelevic said. “We already have an extended student and university activity and as President I am proud to finally be a part of FISU. I am sure this will strengthen WAKO within the field of students, an important market for our sport.”


The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) is an international governing body for the sport of Powerlifting, is a member of SportAccord and is recognized by GAISF and IWGA. It was founded in 1971 and comprises 106 member federations. There are an estimated 100’000 athletes in the sport worldwide. The IPF projects to have 10’000 student-athletes and over 60 member federations organising university sport activities. The IPF has organised two FISU endorsed University Cups. 


“We will do our very best to make sure that FISU will be proud of our sport and I look forward to our future work and cooperation together,” IPF Gaston Parage said. “FISU recognition is not only a positive step forward for the IPF, but most importantly a positive step forward for all of our student-athletes.”



FISU recognised sports will receive endorsement for the organisation of university competitions when organised by the respective IFs. As with the previous sports, the next step will be to establish a formal collaboration between FISU and newly recognised sports. The next FISU recognition process will be in 2019.


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