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Promoting university sport values with dynamic, emerging leaders 


The FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy (FVLA) is an educational event that serves as a key part of the international sports and volunteering movement. Initially held in 2017 in the city of Kazan, as a legacy of the Kazan 2013 FISU World University Games, this first Academy brought together 110 volunteer leaders from 90 countries to the Russian sports city. The FVLA programme has now switched to an online format since 2020.


The aim of the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy is to create a volunteering community around the world that could share the best global practices in volunteer projects in all kinds of sports events. In order to do that, all the values of university sport: excellence, teamwork, innovation, joy of sport and integrity.


Alongside the Academy sessions, young leaders were set with a group project that they present to an evaluation panel of sports officials. In recent editions, Academy attendees centred their work on how to further the University Sports movement on their campuses and communities through the International Day of University Sport (IDUS), a FISU initiative endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and also focused on the creation of an action plan and implementation of their actions for the year following their participation.


The benefits for Academy participants go beyond the practical, educational and cultural, with the top attendees earning additional elite internship and scholarship opportunities. In 2017, five future leaders were chosen to work with FISU on the important operational legacy project at the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade.

"For me, the most interesting part of the FVLA this year was the ability to learn, grow and make worldwide connections even through the current circumstances. Learning about how leadership and sports participation can have a large positive impact on individuals and the world was truly an eye opening experience!”

Jacob James Mulholland, New Zealand, FISU Student Ambassador 2020


"I wanted to feel like I am physically there in Kazan and surprisingly I felt like that for most of the time. It was nice to see a set of really nice people everyday for 3 days. And so many good opportunities were given to us. It was a great learning everyday."

Chathuri Hashani, Sri Lanka, FISU Student Ambassador 2021

"The leadership skills session was to me the most valuable and useful session: it helped me learn a lot as a student leader and ambassador as it taught me very important aspects of being a leader"

Kesaobaka Johannes, Botswana, FISU student Ambassador 2021


"I was able to learn and share my own experiences. Being able to understand how these international connections can work, I am very grateful to FISU and CBDU (Confederação Brasileira do Desporto Universitário) for this opportunity."

Vitoria Teixeira Cabral, Brazil, FISU Student Ambassador 2020

FVLA 2017 2020 infographics


Facts & Figures from the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy

  • The introduction session of the 2022 edition was held online on 17 June and the main sessions will be organised on 2-3 September 2022.

  • Duration: up to 7 days when organised onsite / 2-3 days when organised online

  • Scale: an average of 100 participants

  • Reach: over 90 countries

  • Frequency: every year

  • Participants: students (under 25 years old) from all over the world

  • Tradition: held annually since 2017

  • Programme: conferences, workshops, exchange of experience, cultural exchange, group projects and much more

  • Output: After FVLA participants are awarded with the status of the FISU student Ambassadors and become helping hands of their NUSF and CUSF.

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Highlights from previous FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy events