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21 February 2020 | in Executive Committee Meeting

FISU Executive Committee meets in Lausanne


LAUSANNE — FISU President Oleg Matytsin opened the first FISU Executive Committee Meeting before the newly elected members, then turned the microphone over to Oscar Tosato, Municipal Councilor for Sports and Social Cohesion of the city of Lausanne. 


“It’s a pleasure to welcome you all in Lausanne. You are an important federation with real ambition in the world of sport,” Tosato said in his opening address. 


Oscar Tosato, Municipal Councilor for Sports and Social Cohesion of the city of Lausanne addresses the FISU Executive Committee

“I am amazed to see all the events you organise. This year, the University World Cups and World University Championships you will hold demonstrates your hard work. And I am sure that the next Winter Universiade in Lucerne will prove an affable host to these games.” 


Having recently held the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in his city, Tosato elaborated on how the local organisers and the International Olympic Committee worked together to deliver a sustainable event that put the athletes at the heart of Games. 


“We organised this without any infrastructure that will not be used after the closing of these Games. We are proud of this accomplishment. Sustainability is a value we hold dear.”


Added Tosato: “In sports, we must always ensure the wellbeing and health of the athletes. That was very much the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games. We always promote these values. I know that you also hold these values in your work and actions.”


The FISU President recognised both Tosato and the city of Lausanne for their successful hosting of the Winter YOG — as well as stepping in to hold the upcoming 2020 SportAccord.


President Matytsin then presented Tosato with the FISU 70th Anniversary Book and FISU Medal before turning to the delivering the FISU Report of the President and the Steering Committee.


“You have brought new energy to sports,” the FISU President said to Tosato. “We will keep this energy as we develop university sport around the world.”



Report of the President and the Steering Committee 


FISU President Oleg Matytsin (centre) opens the FISU Executive Committee Meetings alongside FISU First-Vice President Leonz Eder (left) and FISU CEO-Secretary General Eric SaintrondFISU President Matytsin presented the 23 members of the FISU Executive Committee with pins depicting the federation’s new visual identity, which was unveiled earlier this year, before asking the delegates to approve the two-day meeting agenda. Members unanimously approved the agenda. 


Mr. Matytsin, recently appointed Russian Minister of Sport, discussed his new role and how he will combine this with his FISU presidency.


“According to FISU regulations, Russian or Swiss law, there are no conflicts to holding both positions,” Mr. Matytsin said,  adding, “I am fully committed to supporting the international university sports movement.” 


The end of the President’s report was followed by FISU First-Vice President Leonz Eder leading a host of executive committee members in expressing their support to Mr. Matytsin. 


“Russia has made the right choice,” said FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond. 


“Thank you, my dear friends, I will try and do my best,” said the FISU President. “Together will all our staff and colleagues, I only see a very positive path through our future.” 



FISU Secretary-General's Report

FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond presenting the activities and actions of the federation Innovation in sports isn’t only found on the field of play, a point that FISU CEO-Secretary General Eric Saintrond made when introducing a new format to the meetings in Lausanne. 


“We are reducing the number of reports so that we can have more time to focus and collaborate on a number of pressing opportunities,” said Saintrond. “This will be a test event for incorporating roundtables into our executive committee meetings.” 


For the first edition, roundtables will be centred on sustainable development, strengthening FISU’s relationships with universities,  and ethics and governance. 


“In the ethic and governance roundtable we will discuss how to ensure the utmost transparency, accountability and financial integrity in sports,” said Saintrond. 


“I will also like to express my sincere thanks to the FISU staff, in particular for their efforts around the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade. This was led by the work of the FISU Summer Games Director. Marc Vandenplas spent eight months in Napoli, but it wasn’t a vacation for him there.” 


Saintrond noted that 126 participating National University Sports Federations took part in the FISU General Assembly in Torino, Italy. “This was a great moment for us to celebrate 70 years of FISU as an organisation and 60 years of the Universiade.”  


Saintrond presented more on the newly released FISU’s visual identity and upcoming campaigns to increase awareness of university sports through the revamped FISU brand. Saintrond capped this off with a first public screening of a commercial spot soon to run on Eurosport. 


The FISU Secretary-General also recalled hosting IOC President Thomas Bach in the FISU headquarters. When the IOC President first  saw the university sport’s new visual identity he remarked, “Wow, this is very dynamic and nice logo.” 


Saintrond reported that FISU had signed major contracts with Eurosport, Sport ID, and International Testing Agency, and noted the donators from the Sverdlovsk Region of Russia. 


“The International Testing Agency will allow us to better manage our doping control efforts to ensure clean sport across university sports events,” Saintrond said.


“We are also closely in contact with WADA,” Matytsin added.



New constitution of FISU Committees


FISU Education Committee Chair and Senior Executive Committee Member Dr. Verena BurkWalking the talk on empowerment of students to be leaders of tomorrow, FISU appointed students as members of five crucial committees for the forthcoming tenure. These include the Gender Equality Committee, Media and Communication Committee, Education Committee, Sports Events Committee and the Healthy Campus Committee.


The constitution of the committees was presented by President Matytsin and approved by the Executive Committee. 


“We received more than thirty applications for the Education Committee,” said Chair Verena Burk, Senior Executive Committee Member.


“Our statutes state that gender balance in this Committee must be 50-50 and we are glad to have achieved that yet again. In our selection, we also tried to achieve balance in continental representation.”



Enhancing university sport opportunities on the continental and national levels


FISU First-Vice President Leonz Eder opened the presentation on the committee’s collaborative efforts with continental and national members to enhance sporting opportunities on campus, which included the development projects taking place, or slated to, on five continents in 2020.


Two continental seminars — held in Taipei City in the fall of 2019 and Rio de Janeiro earlier this winter — were among the highlights of the committee’s efforts. The latter seminar took place immediately after the FISU America General Assembly where Alim Rachid Maluf Neto was re-elected continental president.


Recognising the vital role communication must play in advancing university sport, the FISU Asia seminar centred around media and promotion workshops. “It was great to go back to the Summer Universiade 2017 host,” said FISU Eduation and Development Director Lilia Barieva.


FISU had high member involvement in a number of events, with included a new Winter Universiade record of 58 nations competing. The 36th FISU General Assembly had 128 participating National University Sports Federations. During the Assembly, the University Sport Movement also welcomed a new member among its ranks, Timor-Leste.  FISU suspended 14 Member Associations during the General Assembly due to non-payment of debts.


“The International Day of University Sport was one of greatest successes this past year,” said FISU Development Manager Tarmo Jaakson. A record 102 FISU Member Associations taking place in #LetsIDUS events in 2019. "But we anticipate even greater participation in 2020," added Jaakson. 



FISU Healthy Campus Label


FISU Healthy Campus & Universities Relations Director Fernando ParenteFernando Parente, Director of FISU Healthy Campus and Universities Relations, presented a status update of FISU’s ambitious project that aims to eventually target 18,000 universities from 196 countries.   


“The FISU Healthy Campus label is a tool or service that we will be providing to universities, to help them improve the well-being of their campus community,” said Parente. “It is also in line with FISU’s strategy to have better and stronger relations with universities worldwide.”


Parente also presented the timeline and next steps of the project as well as collaborations with organisations like UNESCO. The FISU Healthy Campus department is working with 30 international experts ahead of the rollout of the project in May 2020, which will coincide with the opening of the digital platform to all universities around the world.



FISU announces Eurosport digital and television agreement

Through television and live streaming, audiences around the world have been able to follow the action at FISU sports events — at the summer and winter Universiades, to the University World Cups, to select World University Championships in recent years.


FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond announced a 2020-2023 partnership with Eurosport, the industry leading pan-Europe and pan-Asia television sports network.


The deal will include live and delayed television coverage of FISU sports events, starting with the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade and continuing through the FISU World University Games in Chengdu 2021, Ekaterinburg 2023 and Lake Placid 2023.


The deal includes live and delayed television coverage of FISU sports events, along with digital advertising and activation, and editorial university sport news of note. The broadcast content will be shown on the Eurosport channels 1 and 2 in 54 European countries, and on the 12 Eurosport countries in the Pan-Asia broadcasting region.


Through this partnership, FISU anticipates reaching over 125 million during the World University Championship seasons and 250 million people during the World University Games seasons. A significant portion of this audience will be captured largely through event broadcasts and commercial spots, but the agreement also has a healthy media mix of event livestreaming and video on demand, digital news and media presence on the Eurosport's digital channels for university sports.


“The kids no longer watch on TV, so we will be very present on the Eurosport Player, the Eurosport website and the Eurosport social media channels,” Saintrond said.



FISU visual identity

FISU Marketing Director Christian Monzani expressed satisfaction that FISU’s new logo and visual identity – launched in January 2020 – has received positive reactions from member federations and sports fraternity in general.


“We have received a lot of positive feedback,” said Monzani. “Our National University Sports Federations NUSFs and also continental members are approaching the new identity with enthusiasm and we have received requests from them to evolve the continental and national logos as well, in accordance with the FISU identity.”


FISU’s new visual identity and the next steps in the global migration of the new look were presented by Monzani and Branding & Marketing Manager Adelia Faizulina. The new proposed representations of NUSF and CUSF logos were also revealed.


Diving head-first into FISU’s digital transformation

Looking to create control and unity in a steadily growing connected environment that can otherwise turn into mess, FISU is building a highly secure and highly mobile-friendly bespoke platform for games service and membership management.


“This is significant project that touches on all the departments of FISU’s work,” said FISU Director General, Paulo Ferreira. “This is an innovative approach taken by FISU.”


FISU has enlisted a Vienna-based system architecture specialist firm to build the FISU digital platform. The working title of the project within the system architects is “getting necessary and useful things done.”



Focus on future host cities

The FISU Host City Project was presented by Mike Laflin, CEO of Global Sports Strategies, who has undertaken this study over the past eight months. The study examines the motivations that drive cities to bid to host major sports events and how that could apply to FISU.


“Why would anyone want to host the World University Games?” asked Laflin. “Priorities today are changing. The objectives have moved beyond just attracting investment. The criteria that major sports events are being judged on now are media, branding, technology, sustainability and social or community aspects.”


Laflin also proposed the concept of FISU holding more cluster events in the World University Championship season, to move away from single sport competitions and to give host cities the opportunity to host multi-sport events at a smaller scale than the World University Games. Laflin’s presentation prompted a lively discussion among the executive committee members.



FISU sports property strategy


Three International Federations – Ju-Jitsu, Armwrestling, Bodybuilding & Fitness – were presented to executive committee members for approval as FISU Recognised Sports. The three sports passed unanimously.


Recognised Sports have been recognised by FISU as having interest on the university campus. FISU endorses their university sports events, but the federation does not oversee the organisation of these events.



FISU’s core activity – the events

Final report of the 30th Summer Universiade

The Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade final report was presented by FISU First Vice President Leonz Eder and the Summer World University Games team. Led by Director Marc Vandenplas, the team presented the top positives and negatives from the event that was held in July of 2019.


“Looking back, it is clear that the ticketing process was not ideal and ticket sales therefore were not what we expected,” said a candid Marc Vandenplas. The FISU Summer Games Director also mentioned the hiring of workforce and venues and infrastructure readiness as two other major challenges that were successfully overcome before the start of Games-time.


Among the positives highlighted were the food and beverage services, the athletes’ village that was housed on two luxury cruise ships and also the opening ceremony.


“That was when the inhabitants of Napoli realised that they are hosting a great event,” Vandenplas  saidof the ceremony. “So, for us, that was a big success.”


World University Championships

With cross-country runners arriving in Marrakech, Morocco in just over a week, the first 2020 World University Championship event will soon be underway. 28 WUC events follow on the season calendar, culminating with Karate in Brasilia, Brasil this November. 19 countries are slated to host these 29 events.


World University Championships International Technical Committee Chair Marian Dymalski led the progress report on the World University Championships. The department staff highlighted the high level of interest in registrations for the upcoming Championships in the 2020 season.


Due to the high athlete interest in this year’s events, FISU will have to do a team selection in a number of team sports events, namely Beach Volleyball, Futsal, and Handball.


The status of four 2020 WUC events – Modern Pentathlon, Rowing, Wrestling, Sambo – is pending, with work underway to secure city hosts.


For the 2022 and 2024 World University Championship seasons, majority of the attributions have already been made, while the few pending ones are in varying states of progress.


university WORLD cupS

The next edition of the University World Cup - Football will be held from 2-13 June 2021, after a successful inaugural edition that was held in November 2019, in Jinjiang, People’s Republic of China. To avoid a clash with the global football season, the dates of the event have been changed although team selection and other processes will remain the same.


In the report, it was highlighted that the presence of football legends Luis Figo and Juan Sebastián Verón at the team draw and opening ceremony, respectively, went a long way in establishing a good image of the event.


“The high level of conditions we offered to our participants and also the strong collaboration we have with FIFA are also among the major strengths of the tournament,” said Alejandro Guerra Urbistondo, University World Cups Sport Coordinator.


Rugby Sevens will also be organised as a University World Cup with the same format as football from 2022 onwards.




As the link between university and sport, certain FISU sports properties combine ongoing learning opportunities alongside its sport events.


After a short Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade hiatus, the FISU World Conference will make its return during the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade, then shortly following up with this event again during the Chengdu 2021 Summer World University Games.


The World Conference in Lucerne will focus on modern sport challenges and opportunities as it tackles the themes of dual career, digitalisation and women competing in elite sport.


The three-day World Conference in Chengdu will centre on student development through sport and enhancing legacy impacts of hosting major sports events.




Since celebrating its 70th anniversary, FISU will squarely look to its future educational ambitions during the 2020 FISU World Forum with the theme“70 years onward: How can FISU continue to sustain the University Sport Movement?”


Not forgetting its sporting rooting, the Budapest organisers are collaborating with World Rowing to offer both erg and on-water rowing to attendees.


Attribution for the 2022 FISU World Forum took place during the meeting, with FISU Senior Executive Committee member Verena Burk presenting the candidatures for the four finalists: Rio de Janeiro (BRA), Cartago (CRC), Split (CRO), and Valencia (ESP).


The FISU Executive Committee membership voted unamiously to host the event in Cartago, Costa Rica. The 2022 World Forum marks the first FISU event held in Costa Rica.  This event, which is slated to run from 4-9 April, will be quickly followed by the 2022 WUC Cycling event in Costa Rica.


“After 20 years, we are happy with your decision to go back to the Americas,” said Dr. Burk.


FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy

Igor Silov, General Adviser to FISU PresidentIgor Silov, General Adviser to FISU President, presented the plan for the fourth edition of the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy will take place from 10-16 June in Kazan, Russian Federation. While strengths from previous editions of the programme will continue, new developments include a partnership with Education First and the use of the Kazan 2013 Universiade village as accommodation for both, participants and speakers.


New plans also include live streaming of some sessions, a mentorship programme and a higher level of services in general.


97 National University Sports Federations have proposed candidates, and for the first time the Academy will see the participation of all five FISU continental associations, as FISU Oceania joins the event.