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03 February 2017 | in Winter Universiade, Conference, Education

WU Almaty 2017 Opening of the World Conference on Innovation - Education - Sport

ALMATY - The FISU World Conference on Innovation – Education – Sport started this morning at the Kazakh Academy of Sport and Tourism in the City of Almaty, Kazakhstan.

This FISU World Conference is an important part of the extensive programme of FISU Education activities, and during two days scientists and academic experts from all over the world will discuss topics related to the main theme “University Sport – Health and future of Society”.

Verena Burk, FISU First Assessor and Chair of the Educ Committee during her opening speech.

In her opening speech, Verena Burk, Chair of the Educ Committee within FISU underlined the role of innovation linked with Education and University Sport:

“Innovation is a key driver of growth and well-being. New technologies, products, services and organisations create jobs and industries – also in sports. This presents new opportunities for innovation and improvement in the educational sector. Education and innovation are inseparably linked with each other. Many studies prove the importance of education for innovation capability and innovation performance of companies, organisations and national economies. Education is an important way to achieve innovation. But innovation has also a specific role in education, for example innovations in teaching and learning, with a special focus on new technologies, expands the educational toolbox. And: The success of new teaching methods depends on the ability of the teachers to invent and apply innovative teaching methods.


In a complex and ever-changing social environment, the ability to innovate and to achieve innovation through education but also scientific research and consultancy is a key aspect for sport. Research results in the field of sport science can help to develop new directions for national and international sport organisations with their athletes, coaches and officials, and other stakeholders in sport. Sport science could be a partner to support sport organisations, public agents and businesses interacting with the sport sector in order to develop new fields of action, including the setup of appropriate structures and procedures. Research findings can also assist in the development of customised programmes and activities within the wider scope of education and training through sport. And Sport academics can review projects and provide external evaluation associated with evaluation standards and apply tools, which have been specifically adapted or developed for the sport sector.

The sport scientific field is diverse and when you take a look to our Conference program you will realize that we will take-up different topics in the plenary and parallel sessions like anti-doping technologies, health promotion for athletes, technical and tactical training as well as innovative technologies in the physical education of young people. But all topics have one thing in common: They are all related particular to the development of university sport and the performance of athletes, coaches, officials and federations within the university sport movement.


The FISU World Conference on Innovation – Education – Sport would like to provide an excellent opportunity to exchange scientific results and to compare ideas, projects and knowledge. It has been designed to reflect and discuss relevant topics and problems of sport in general but especially of university sport. The subthemes of the Conference refer to main topics and related problems which are in the focus of sport science and our societies but also in the focus of FISU and the international university sport movement today and in the future. Therefore I wish you not only a pleasant stay at the FISU World Conference and at the Winter Universiade in Almaty but also fruitful and inspiring discussions”.

 FISU President, Oleg Matytsin

FISU President Oleg Matytsin was also present at the opening of the conference. In his opening speech he pointed out the importance of Education within the FISU Programme: “At FISU, we consciously make sure the Universiade is about more than sport. We work actively to promote cultural awareness, to promote friendship and to promote education. It is part of FISU’s wider approach to university sports, an approach where we look beyond just providing opportunities to compete.

You will all be aware of FISU’s vision to contribute to a better society by providing the leaders of tomorrow with positive experiences of sport, to help students make a bigger contribution to society both while they are at university and after they leave. A healthy society requires healthy leaders and strong role models. There is extensive research to show that it is much easier for young people to learn positive behaviours when those behaviours are demonstrated and not just talked about.

When positive behaviours are modeled by people from the same social and affinity groups, that modeling is even more powerful. It is one thing to see someone from your own country embracing sport. It is another to see someone from your own city or university.

We should be proud that educational establishments have always been at the front of efforts to ensure this practice of a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Coming back to our work here in Almaty there is just a little more that I would like to highlight. A vital part of ensuring athletes are healthy is encouraging them not to dope.

We will carry out around 200 anti-doping tests during the Universiade. But testing is only part of the story. In partnership with WADA, FISU has created a textbook to provide education about anti-doping. University students are often open to experimenting with many different things. It is our job to do all we can to ensure that doping is not one of those things. It is our job to explain to students that doping is not consistent with the values of sport.“

Erin Tedford, Education Manager at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

To explain the role of Education in the promotion of a clean sport, the conference could count on Mrs Erin Tedford, Education Manager at the world Anti-Doping Agency. In her speech, Mrs Tedford underlined the importance of creating teaching and learning material for universities to introduce the topic of the fight against doping in sport (primarily for first year students.) The key is that the knowledge of the facts is a protective factor.

Jenny Mann, Head of Sport Partnerships and Coordination at the International Olympic Committee

Jenny Mann, Head of Sport Partnership and coordination at the International Olympic Committee recalled the importance of close collaboration between the IOC and FISU. “A collaborative and dynamic relationship is essential within our two organizations to promote sports and education on a very large scale”.

 Kairat Zakiryanov, FISU Executive Committee Member and President of the Kazakh Academy of Sport and Tourism, the host of the conference

Note that Yelmira Sukhanberdiyeva, the Vice Minister of Education and Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan was present at the ceremony and welcomed all the participants of this World Conference.


The conference will last two days and will offer the opportunity to 42 speakers from around the World to exchange their experience around the main theme: “University Sport – Health and future of Society”