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29 September 2018 | in Executive Committee Meeting

FISU Executive Committee meets for September session

FISU's growing team and ambitions were evident during the first day of the Executive Committee meetings 


LAUSANNE — With the World University Championship wrapping up its most ambitious month in the most aspiring season in its history, FISU President Oleg Matytsin opened day one of the FISU Executive Committee meetings by highlighting the organisation’s recent events and charting the year ahead.


The biannual meetings brought together the FISU Steering and Executive Committees with members from the 15 FISU committees to the home of international university sport in the Olympic capital city.


President Matytsin spoke on how the International Day of University Sport had inspired over 75 countries to celebrate sport, physical activity and healthy living on the 20th of September.  In addition, the FISU President noted the continuing close collaboration shared between FISU and the IOC, which included the appointment of Olympic athletic high jump champion and IOC Athletes’ Commission Member Stefan Holm to join select FISU events.


The FISU President also identified the challenging work ahead of the Summer Universiade 2019. “With only nine months until the Napoli 2019 Opening Ceremony, I believe we really have to work hard together and show our unity to make this Summer Universiade reflect the 60th Anniversary of the Universiade event — and the 70th anniversary of FISU as the global governing body of university sport."

FISU President Oleg Matytsin opening the FISU Executive Committee September session

FISU, FeDUA at the Youth Olympic Games

During the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, FISU and Argentinian Member Federation FeDUA will host the International University Sport House. Recognising the challenge many athletes face to develop lifelong skills whilst focusing on their sport career, the IOC invited the FISU Family to engage with this global collection of worldwide athletic audience to inspire them to keep academics in their lives during their sports careers.

Much like how FISU presents a flexible plan to adapt to the needs of the times and a host city, the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games looks to break ground in the way sports are presented - and even played with its urban outdoor venue concept

Leaders Academy, Ambassadors Programme, Torch Relay and the Treasury

Following the President Matytsin’s remarks, FISU Treasurer Bayasgalan Danzandorj gave a financial report on the activities of the Federation. Mr. Danzandori also mentioned organisation initiatives such as the Volunteer Leaders Academy, Student Ambassadors Programme and the Universiade Torch Relay, new events that have all started in the past two years.



The team behind the international University Sport Movement grows

FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond opened by introducing the two newest staff members to join the FISU team.  The new FISU Marketing Director, Christian Monzani, comes to the team having activated new sports properties for an Olympic Summer Sports International Federation (AIBA’s World Boxing Championships), in addition to having been a company founder, director of a non-profit, and project manager at both a global agency and a professional sports team.


On the media side, Tina Sharma joins the FISU team as Press Officer. Frequent visitors to the FISU website might have already seen Mrs. Sharma’s byline on the FISU website as the award-winning reporter and writer has already started contributing to FISU’s media efforts since mid-July.  Named the best sports anchor by Indian News Broadcasting Award, Mrs. Sharma has made the move into FISU after attending the AISTS in Sports Administration.



With FISU’s closing of the Brussels office in late 2017, the organisation has been growing the staff back up to a level more in-line with previous years. With a 38-member strong team that is just below the organisation’s peak employment in 2014, Mr. Saintrond said the organisation was well-positioned to achieve its aspirations at upcoming sports events, educational programmes and special projects.


Clean Sport

During the Secretary General’s report, FISU Medical Director Dusan Hamar gave an update on the clean sport efforts of FISU. Dr. Hamar noted that the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade will be the first major multi-sport event in the country since the re-approval of the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA). Working in cooperation with the International Testing Agency (ITA) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the decision has been made to use the Seibersdorf, Austria testing laboratory during Winter Universiade 2019.


FISU Global Strategy 2027 Progress Report

The FISU organisational vision is to lead the University Sport Movement, where the leaders of society are positively influenced by their University Sport experience. Started in 2016 and finalised in 2017, the FISU Global Strategy is FISU’s 10 year plan to turn vision into reality.


FISU Education and Development Director Lilia Barieva reported on the progress on the aims and outcomes for the roadmap’s eight strategic focus areas: sport events, education through sport, culture, dual career building, cooperation with international organisations, development, promoting university sport, resources.


“This global strategy is more than a charter; it’s a living document that is a tool to use as a strategy for development,” FISU President Matytsin remarked after Mrs. Barieva’s report.




Disciplinary Committee discussed

 FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond discussed the formation of the Disciplinary Committee, which the Executive Committee had proposed and decided to constitute.


“With the Disciplinary Committee, the mission is to maintain the reputation of FISU, to protect FISU athletes and for disciplinary action, if required, at FISU events,” said Mr. Saintrond.


Senior Executive Committee member Dr. Verena Burk was appointed as the Executive Committee representative in the Disciplinary Committee. Two representatives from other international Federations will also be appointed to the Disciplinary Committee. 


Senior Executive Committee member Dr. Verena Burk was appointed as the committee’s representative in the Disciplinary Committee. Two representatives from other International Federations will also be appointed to the Disciplinary Committee. 


New FISU event team selection blueprint proposed 

The Sport Management Committee oversees four sport properties, namely the Summer Univesiade, the Winter Universiade, the World University Championships and the World University Leagues. Presenting the Sport Management Committee report, FISU Director General Paulo Ferreira spoke of the new team selection blueprint proposed by the Summer Universiade bein adopted also by the Winter Universiade and the World University Championships.


“This allows us to go forward with more consistency in how we select teams,” said Director General Ferreira. “The plan also provides for further development, in allowing new teams to come into the competition.”


The Sport Management Committee also stressed upon the importance of a long-term agreement for Timing & Scoring, to facilitate smoother preparation and execution of future FISU events.


Other topics discussed centered on the General Regulations of the World University Leagues, the 2022 WUC sport programme and bidding timeline, specific sport regulations, the Sport Policy and IF collaboration conventions.


Development Committee's strategic seminars lead to continental advances

 The FISU Development Committee presenting during the September sessions in Lausanne

The Committee for the Development of University Sport (CDSU) has been holding continued dialogues and cooperation with the Continental University Sport Federations as a way to grow the University Sport Movement across the continents.  FISU First Vice-President and CDSU Chair Leonz Eder, CDSU Vice-Chair Shen Zhen, CDSU Member Anthony Davis, FISU Education and Development Director Lilia Barieva and FISU Education & NUSF Relations Manager Tarmo Jaakson presented the report. 


CDSU Chair Leonz Eder highlighted the combined efforts in organizing FISU-NUSF seminars, with a special mention for the event held in Mekelle, Ethiopia. During the FASU Games in Mekelle, the Federation of African University Sports (FASU) hosted a FISU-FASU-NUSF seminar to educate National University Sports Federations on their daily jobs. This event was attended by 80 persons, including staff, rectors of universities and media persons. Demonstrating the spirit of future cooperation, Memodandums of Understanding were signed between FISU and the Continental Federations.


The committee also has been reaching out to individual FISU Member Associations for an in-depth survey that is conducted through face to face interviews. Mrs. Barieva thanked FISU America and especially the colleagues from Argentina for the ‘House of University Sports’ project that will be set up in the middle of the Olympic Park at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.


“We hope to use this chance to present FISU to the young athletes and also to promote FISU in the Americas,” she said.


CDSU Vice-Chair Shen Zhen and CDSU Member Anthony Davis presented the various events organised and hosted by various member organisations, including the qualifying tournaments for the FISU University World Cup —  Football and the 3x3 FISU World University League Finals.


These tournaments were held in cities around the world including Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Santiago (Chile), Christchurch (New Zealand) and Melbourne (Australia), among others. All together, Continental University Sports Federations organised over 20 different sport and educational events.


The total financial support pledged to CUSFs in 2019 was agreed upon and FISU Education & NUSF Relations Manager Tarmo Jaakson spoke of the relaunch of the Help Programme. The reimplementation of this programme will come into effect immediately after these meetings. 


“To reach more potential countries it was proposed to raise the GDP per capita criteria from USD 2500 to USD 3500, which brings 20 more countries into the programme. We are aiming to activate more of our NUSFs,” Mr. Jaakson said.



Education Committee

During the report of FISU’s Education Committee, Chair Verena Burk gave an overview of the topics discussed at the last committee meeting which, with all members and the expert group present, was held during the 14th edition of the FISU Forum in Krasnoyarsk this past August.


FISU Education and Development Director Lilia Barieva spoke about the upcoming FISU World Conference, which will take place alongside the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade. The main theme of the Conference will be “University Sport Events: Innovation For Legacy & Sustainability” with the schedule is close to being set. Of note, Thierry Zintz from the IOC Olympic Education Commission will be among the experienced speakers to take the stage in Krasnoyarsk.


At the March meetings, the 2020 FISU Forum was attributed to Budapest. At this Executive Committee session, the organisers proposed a change the dates to 2-6 August so as to not collide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games. The FISU Executive Committee approved the Budapest organisers to find a more suitable date.


FISU Education Manager Julien Buhajezuk provided a look-back on another successful period of supporting students through FISU’s Scholarship Programme. In collaboration with Seoul National University’s Dream Together Master and Russian International Olympic University’s Master of Sport Administration, FISU again awarded two scholarships.


In 2019 additional scholarships are on the horizon, with the Capital University of Physical Education and Sports in Beijing and several other Chinese universities looking to offer educational opportunities through the international University Sport community.


Student Committee

Student Committee coordinator Hilkka Poyhonen remarked that the committee played a leading role at the past FISU Forum with members represented the FISU Family as experts, jury members and presenters.


Mrs. Poyhonen also presented best practices of how to better involve students in National University Sport Federations. “Right now, situations differ very much from federation to federation,” Mrs. Poyhonen remarked.


Healthy Campus

Healthy Campus is FISU’s new project to improve overall sport activities on campuses worldwide.  With the initiative under the direction of project assistant Kushtresa Gashi, Healthy Campus anticipates a pilot universities launch in early 2019.



FISU Gender Equality committee attends IWG World Conference


Titled “Determine The future. Be Part Of The Change,” FISU’s participation at the International Working Group on Women in Sport was the central project for the Federation’s Gender Equality Commission. Taking place in Gaborone, Botswana, the four-day conference closed with a global legacy plan worth considering, said committee chair Rosaura Mendez Gamboa.



FISU Media-Communication-Broadcasting: Bringing FISU fans into the game

The FISU President Oleg Matytsin (centre), Secretary General - CEO Eric Saintrond (right) and First-Vice President Leonz Eder (left) listened in with attention during the Media and Communication's team's presentation

Led by FISU Media and Communication Chair Dr. Verena Burk, the FISU Media Staff brought a unique behind-the-scenes look to the teams’ work to play inside leading edge of the communicative, media services and broadcasting fronts.


“University sports promotion plays a key role in every area, in every stage and every initiative in FISU,” said Torin Koos, FISU’s Head of Media and Communication. “We are a team at FISU Media, executing the organisation’s global strategy across multiple fronts and channels.”


Dr. Burk carried this theme by tying the work of the small media team to achieve four key outcomes: become an International Federation leader in mobile-first content; achieve area-wide positive media coverage; increase cooperation between FISU and other federations; welcome new companies in as marketing partners and co-content creators.


As the recently hired press officer, Tina Sharma broke down how she was working to increase FISU event content coverage in traditional press and in media operations.


Maximilian Lange, a former FISU Young Reporter Programme alumni, who just joined the FISU Media team full time as a digital media coordinator has already had a visible and measurable impact on the reaching university students and sports fans on the social media front. This past year, FISU has had an impression on over 10 million people; Mr. Lange identified some of the ways and techniques he looked to reach an ever-greater number of fans in social and digital media.


As FISU photographer and graphic designer, Yuan Ren is tasked with carrying the unity, coherence and design across FISU’s publishing and photography efforts. As the front porch,  the first experience someone often has with FISU and the University Sports Movement, its a job that Mr. Ren and the FISU Media team does not take lightly. 

As 2018 is alternate year to the Summer and Winter Universiades, the largest World University Championship season of all-time with 33 events has helped keep the FISU Media team's reporting and graphic design skills in fine form

Movement on the marketing front

FISU hired Christian Monzani to lead the Federation’s marketing efforts. Mr. Monzani starts working on 1 October. He was on-site for the Executive Committee meetings to meet his new colleagues again after also participating last weekend at the Lausanne in Motion festival.


Universiade Flame

The first Winter Universiade 2019 Torchbearer first torchbearer Nikolay Olyunin lights the FISU flame in Torino to start the relay. As a Snowboarder, Olyungin won silver at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and gold at the Granada 2015 Winter Universiade

When the flame in Torino, Italy lit the torch that will carry the flame to Krasnoyarsk, Russia for Winter Universiade a new tradition was also started: for every upcoming Universiade, a relay will start with the torch lighting in Torino that culminates with the ignition of the Universiade during the  host city's opening ceremony .


The torch relay for the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade began on the 20th of September, with the flame being lit by Nikolay Olyunin, a Universiade and Olympic medalist in snowboard, at the University of Torino, Italy. 


“It is a great honour for FISU to return to Torino once again for the lighting of a torch, whose flame will be passed all the way to Krasnoyarsk in time for the opening ceremony of next year’s Winter Universiade,” FISU President Matytsin remarked.






‘Anyone can organise:’ The International Day of University Sport


The International Day of University Sport, initiated by FISU and proclaimed by UNESCO, was celebrated worldwide on 20 September 2018. FISU Education and Development Director Lilia Barieva described the occasion – started under the Education Committee – as a “platform to reconnect with member federations.”


“This is a real way to connect not just with the federations but also directly with university students,” she added.


This year, the biggest celebrations were witnessed in Hungary, with around 180,000 students attending 160 different IDUS events. Russia too, saw participation in large numbers with nearly 45,000 students taking part in 76 events across the country.


FISU Education Manager Tarmo Jaakson said, “The biggest celebrations were definitely in Europe, with active participation in 32 countries. Among FISU America member federations, 16 countries engaged with the student community for IDUS.”


In all, there were more than 250 IDUS-related events all over the world, including sports as well as educational events. As in preceding years, there were two popular ‘City in Motion’ events held in Lausanne, the Olympic capital and in Melbourne, Australia where the third edition of ‘Monash in Motion’ was held.


Lilia Barieva summed up the overwhelming response to IDUS saying, “A large number of social media messages came in from all over the world. It is a simple concept that is easy to implement and students themselves help us to promote it.”




Getting Lausanne in Motion


As a continuation of the International Day of University Sport, FISU put on a City in Motion event meant to bring the sports culture from the university campus into the city centre: Lausanne in Motion.


“With this event, we unite people with sport and demonstrate that sport is not only for champions or competitive athletes,” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin in the midst of all the activity. “Sport should be for everyone.”


Of note, the University of Monash put on a twin even in Melbourne: the Monash in Motion.



FISU Student Ambassadors


Following the 2018 edition of the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy in the Russian sports city of Kazan, FISU appointed its first Student Ambassadors. Mrs. Barieva gave an update of the 118 young leaders who were appointed FISU Student Ambassadors for 2018-2019. In 2019, FISU plans to bring together the same Student Ambassadors in Kazan for a second time.



FISU Forum 2018

The main theme of this year’s Forum in the heart of Siberia was “Student sport: springboard for innovative leadership” with subthemes tackling equal opportunities in sport, dual career, values and ethics.


In Krasnoyarsk, 105 participants from 36 national federations met with 30 FISU Family members to exchange knowledge through lectures, workshops, seminars and projects. Additionally, activities like a Curling practice at the venue of the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the upcoming Winter Universiade and an open-air concert in the Stolby Narture Reserve were built around the educational programme.



Lake Placid, USA officially presented as Winter Universiade 2023 host

FISU and Lake Placid leaders during the ceremonial signing of the Winter Universiade 2023 host city contract

The ceremonial signing of the previously completed host city contract earlier this summer made for history in the making as the two-time Winter Olympics host will now hold the Universiade for a second time.


Lake Placid Mayor Craig H. Randall spoke after putting pen to paper.


“With the commitments in the contract, Lake Placid and the State of New York are prepared to bring the very finest Winter Universiade,” Mr. Randall said. “After 50 years, we welcome FISU back to the Adirondacks for the Winter Universiade. I am specially honoured to be the person to say that.” 

The Universiade flame will once again make its way to Lake Placid, USA