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04 March 2019 | in Conference, Education

Asking questions, getting answers at the FISU World Conference

Yanqing Xue, the President of the Asian University Sports Federation hailing from China, and Portuguese colleague Fernando Silva Parente, a member of the FISU executive committee and Vice-Chair for World University Championships, attended the opening day of the second ever FISU World Conference, held as part of the 29th Winter Universiade.


The Young Reporters Programme caught up with them following Tuesday’s session at the Grand Hall Siberia.




What do you think of the Winter Universiade so far?


I think the Winter Universiade is very good and well organized by the Krasnoyarsk organizing committee. The athletes are satisfied with the village. The opening ceremony was very good. The cultural activities are nice, really nice, we enjoy them.


What goes into making an event of this magnitude?


I think the first thing to acknowledge is that the Russian government placed great importance onto the Winter Universiade. President Putin proved that by participating in the opening ceremony. Also, the local government helped by putting in a lot of resources, both human and financial. Another thing is the promotion, beforehand, of the Universiade was very good.


What excites you about the Universiade?


Firstly, some of our Chinese teams had a really good start to the competition. We are really excited about that. We also are excited to meet many friends. Some friends are old, and some friends are new. Another thing is to really experience the Winter Universiade. See the beautiful venues, see the wonderful competitions and take part in cultural activities. This is what attracted me to Siberia.


What are you most looking forward to?


The competition itself is the main thing, so I really hope that the Chinese delegation can get a good result. Even though winter sports are not a strong side of China, I hope we can get some good results.


Last but not least, have you seen a bear in Siberia?


Where? A real one? Ha! Ha! Ha! No, I have not. I hope not to encounter a bear face-to-face.


Krasnoyarsk is the current hub of university sports + transfer of educational knowledge 


You’re a member of the FISU board. What does that entail?


Yes, I am on the board, but specifically I have the function of Vice-Chair for the World University Championships. I’m also leading a new project in FISU which is a project to give a level of quality to not only sport services but also health care, sustainable social responsibilities to universities.


What does it take to put on an event of this magnitude?


Our idea is always the same, we use the big events to promote university sport. Of course, it’s a high-level event and it’s a good promotion for university sport. It’s also a manifestation of culture, education and we are putting in all the effort into be successful, to promote it well and spread the word of university sport around the world.


What drew you into the idea of having a Universiade in Siberia?


Well, the Universiade is organized by a bidding process. Of course, we have to be present in all the corners of the world and Siberia was a good opportunity because Russian people are good organizers and we knew we would have a good experience here and the students will be happy to participate in the Universiade.


What are some of the challenges that FISU would face in putting on an event this big?


There are many challenges, but when you go to organize an event, of course the challenges are important, but we always put our efforts to give a positive experience to the university students. We do this because we want students to have a fantastic experience and tell others about university sport.


What are you most looking forward to in the days to come?


Watching good competitions and trying to see the environment is always really special because university competitions are different from the others. I believe that there is more integration, more fair play and more social connections, the competition is really different. It’s one thing to be involved in sport, high-level games and events, but there is the other side of the coin that is the social responsibility, the fair play and the connections.


Lastly, have you seen a bear in Siberia?


Not yet! Ha! Ha!


Article by James Oana, International Young Reporter at the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade