Leonz Eder was today unanimously elected as the International University Sports Federation (FISU) President during the successful 38th FISU General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. For the next four years, Eder will lead alongside the newly elected Executive Committee.
The election came as delegates, meeting face to face for the first time since 2019, discussed FISU’s successful navigation of the pandemic and heard from the hosts of planned FISU events up to 2029.
“I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to continue to guide the university sport community in the exciting times that lie ahead,” President Eder stated. “In the face of significant global challenges, FISU has in 2023 celebrated a full year of exciting university sport and two memorable FISU World University Games. As we approach our 75th anniversary, our movement remains as committed as ever to serving university students around the world, providing them with sporting opportunities and helping them develop healthy habits to last a lifetime. I am deeply humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility of helping shape the bright future ahead for the university sports community.”
Eder was unanimously elected by the 115 NUSFs present with voting rights and will serve until 2027. He had served as FISU Acting President since 2020, guiding FISU through significant global challenges and the return of a full calendar of events in 2023.
Eder will be joined by the newly elected Executive Committee. The composition of the Executive Committee reflects FISU’s commitment to gender equality, with three of the four posts for vice president being won by women candidates from three different continents:
- FISU First Vice-President: Luciano Atayde da Costa Cabral (BRA)
- FISU Vice Presidents: Jin Liu (CHN), Penninah Kabenge (UGA), Verena Burk (GER), Marian Dymalski (POL)
- FISU Treasurer: Bayasgalan Danzandorj (MGL)
- FISU Senior Executive Committee Member: Martin Doulton (AUS)
- FISU Executive Committee Members: Daichi Suzuki (JPN), Hosung Chang (KOR), Rosaura Méndez Gamboa (CRC), Lorenzo Lentini (ITA), Marko Zunic (CRO), Emiliano Ojea (ARG), Delise O’Meally (USA), Duarte Lopes (POR), Ching-Yu Tseng (TPE), Sami Garabedian (LBN), Ali Massari Al Dhaheri (UAE), Mehmet Gunay (TUR), Ágnes Ancic-Valkai (HUN), Cheng Fave See Tow (SGP), Nomsa Mahlangu (RSA)
The new FISU Executive Committee is formed at an exciting time for FISU and university sport, with a strong pipeline of host cities, all awarded under President Eder’s leadership. Upcoming events include the winter and summer editions of Torino 2025 and Rhine-Ruhr 2025, followed by Chungcheong 2027 and North Carolina 2029. These host cities presented comprehensive updates on their preparations during the General Assembly.
The General Assembly also welcomed the new addition to the FISU membership of the Qatar Collegiate Sports Federation (QCSF). The inclusion of QCSF as a member follows Qatar’s successful hosting of its inaugural FISU event this year, the FISU University World Cup 3×3 Basketball.
During his report, FISU CEO and Secretary General Eric Saintrond officially announced his plan to retire in early 2025, receiving a lengthy standing ovation in recognition of his dedication and passion for FISU and university sport. The 38th General Assembly marks Saintrond’s last participation in a FISU General Assembly as FISU CEO and Secretary General.
Saintrond shared: “It is with great pride that I leave behind years of work and sacrifice, but also huge and great moments of happiness.”
In his poignant address, Saintrond also delivered a heartfelt tribute to his late friend and former FISU Secretary General, Roch Campana, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Subsequently, during the General Assembly, Corinne Campana (picture above with Éric Saintrond and Leonz Eder) honoured her brother with a powerful and emotional speech.
The assembly also commemorated the loss of two other esteemed members of the university sports community this year: Aleksander Ronikier, Honorary Member of the Executive Committee from 1987 to 1995, and Mark Tennant, who dedicated his service as Chair of the FISU Volleyball International Technical Committee from 1983 to 2015.
Meanwhile, the winners of the 8th FISU Gender Equality Awards, aiming to raise the profile of people and projects that increase the participation of women, were announced.
Ms Samar Judah Mousa of the Palestinian University Sports Federation was named the winner of the FISU Gender Equality Champion Award. The FISU Gender Equality Project Award went to the Portuguese Academic Federation of University Sport for its “Challenge the Numbers!” project.
Finally, delegates approved reports of the FISU Treasurer and External Auditor, as well as the reports from FISU’s various departments. The budget for 2024 and 2025 and the discharge of the Executive Committee for the period 2019-2023 were also approved.