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Home News FISU at Doha – historic gathering focused on advancing university sports and well-being in the Gulf Region

FISU at Doha – historic gathering focused on advancing university sports and well-being in the Gulf Region

Qatar 17 January 2024

Doha University for Science and Technology (UDST), in collaboration with FISU, and the Qatar Collegiate Sports Federation (QCSF), organised the first “Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Universities Sport & Wellness Symposium 2024” a prestigious event held from 14 to 16 January.

With participation from over 300 attendees representing diverse countries, including the GCC nations, this symposium addressed the burgeoning interest in the role of post-secondary institutions within the GCC’s sports development framework. Its primary objective was to unite leaders in sports and well-being, both on the domestic and international fronts, providing a unique platform for dialogue among government officials, universities, national university sport federations, and FISU. Remarkably, this marked the first occasion that these stakeholders had collectively come together, with the aim of sparking discussions on collaborative opportunities and growth prospects in the region.

Omar Saad from UDST, Ibrahim bin Saleh Al-Naimi, Leonz Eder and Salem Al Naemi

The symposium gained even more significance through the presence of prominent figures deeply committed to its vision. Leonz Eder, President of FISU, delivered an insightful presentation showcasing the diverse range of events and educational programmes developed and organized by FISU. He lauded the exceptional quality of the symposium and recognized the invaluable contributions of QCSF and UDST. Additionally, FISU Secretary General and CEO Eric Saintrond, offered valuable insights into the current global sports landscape. He emphasised the opportunities and positioning of university sports, particularly within the Gulf region. Notably, Ibrahim bin Saleh Al-Naimi, President of QCSF and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Salem Al Naemi, President of UDST, graced the event with their presence, providing insights into the relevance of the work of national and regional stakeholders in the development of university sport.

The symposium featured a distinguished lineup of experts who delivered enlightening presentations, emphasising opportunities for student engagement, particularly in wellness services and activities related to the FISU Healthy Campus programme. Speakers included Fernando Parente and Ivo Carvalhosa from FISU’s Development and Healthy Campus team, Noemi Zaharia from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a two-time Olympic Medalist and legendary FISU Universiade Athlete (seven medals in Zagreb 1987), and Dr. Brian McCommons, UDST Program Development & Accreditation Specialist.

FISU and Bornan Sports Technology

Taking advantage of the opportunity to have the President and Secretary General of FISU in Doha, a meeting was held with Bornan Sports Technology to delve into digital transformation and explore future collaboration possibilities. As digitalisation and the integration of new technologies have emerged as pivotal elements in the realm of sports, aligning seamlessly with FISU’s vision, President Eder noted, “We all see the potential of technology to help us achieve our dreams and challenges”. The discussions revolved around the core principles of FISU’s vision, with both parties expressing keen interest in collaborative ventures. Among those present from Bornan Sports Technology were Chairman Mr. Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, CEO Eva Maria Cordoba, and Managing Director Roberto Garcia.

Healthy Campus audit meeting and visit to UDST

Following two days of symposium sessions and productive meetings with local stakeholders, UDST welcomed a team of FISU evaluators for an audit of its engagement as Qatar’s first university under the “Healthy Campus” programme. This Platinum University showcased an outstanding and innovative well-being programme for its community, reflecting institutional dedication and exemplary practices that FISU intends to disseminate on an international scale.

Photos courtesy Wonderbox and Bornan Sports Technology