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28 February 2019 | in Winter FISU World University Games, FISU, Executive Committee Meeting

University sports leaders meet for EC Meetings in Krasnoyarsk - Day 1

The first of the two days of meetings focused on the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade and the works of FISU as it promotes university sports around the world

KRASNOYARSK — On the eve of the 29th Winter Universiade, FISU President Oleg Matytsin opened the biannual FISU Executive Committee meeting by speaking of the importance of building relationships.


“Our enthusiastic efforts to reach out to national and continental federations have had very positive results,” he said. “We also continue to build strong bridges with other organisations, including the International Olympic Committee. I am happy that IOC President Thomas Bach will address all the participants of the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade during the Opening Ceremony in two days’ time.”

 FISU President Oleg Matytsin (right) and FISU First-Vice President Leonz Eder during the opening remarks of the executive committee meetings in Krasnoyarsk

Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade

The tone of cooperation from the welcome to the biannual meetings carried on into the reports from the Winter Universiade 2019, which begins on 2 March. The Internal Report presented by Winter Universiade Director Milan Augustin, International Medical Committee chair Dusan Hamar and Winter Universiade International Technical Committee chair Roger Roth was extremely positive.


“Everything done by the Organising Committee is of a very high international standard and we will have a great Universiade in Krasnoyarsk,” said Augustin. “The sports test events were organised to the top international level.”


Hamar stressed upon the importance of the anti-doping services agreement signed with the independent International Testing Agency that will deliver the anti-doping programme in Krasnoyarsk. He also appreciated the medical facilities available to the participants of the Winter Universiade.


“This is the best polyclinic we have ever had at the Winter Universiade,” he said. “I have every confidence that the medical facilities are at a very high standard here. We also have helicopters in venues like the Sopka Cluster.


After receiving such a vote of confidence, the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Organising Committee presented their final pre-Universiade report.


“We did our best and we walked shoulder to shoulder with FISU,” said Maxim Urazov, Krasnoyarsk 2019 Director General. “We reconstructed many venues and all venues were tested with 11 events covering all sports. Krasnoyarsk is ready to host the first Winter Universiade in Russia. It is the most awaited event in Siberia and it is a matter of great pride for Russia.”


FISU’s Secretary-General Eric Saintrond endorsed the positive report, saying, “I can tell you that all of us are very proud of what you have done and what you have achieved in the years since attribution. I am sure that in the years to come, many major sports events will come to Krasnoyarsk.”

The Krasnoyarsk 2019 organising team, led by Maxim Urazov (centre) presenting during the first report of the FISU Executive Committee meeting 


Secretary General’s Report

Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond reported that in just over a year in the new FISU headquarters on the University of Lausanne campus that the FISU administration and staff were well settled and primed to deliver the best in the years ahead.


Speaking about the future, Saintrond said that FISU is moving steadily forward with its digital-first plans. “The Winter Universiade will be streaming live on the Olympic Channel as well as the newly-launched FISU.TV. Viewers all over the world will have easy and free access to live action.”


About the road ahead, Saintrond spoke about the need to create more activites at NUSF and CUSF level to more effectively engage students. “We have to find new platforms to bring all students into the FISU community, even those who are not competitive sportsmen and women.”


Day 1 of the FISU Executive Committee meetings in Krasnoyarsk kick off several important days before the start of the 29th Winter Universiade

Global Strategy and Action Plans

Continuing on the strategic front FISU Director General Paulo Ferreira highlighted the general progress of the FISU Global Strategy 2027 and associated action plans. “Things are progressing well,” he said. “We are achieving the objectives we had set for ourselves.”


Director of Education and Development Lilia Barieva agreed with the assessment of progress and added that FISU is now starting on the in-depth planning phase for the next two years, based on the action plan.


FISU Oceania Continental Association delegate Martin Doulton brought up the question of esports and whether it should be part of FISU’s global strategy going forward. “If we want to keep pace with the current scenario we have to acknowledge that 200 million people or more are playing League of Legends,” he said. “This is higher than any other activity. So, what are our plans for this?”


FISU President Matytsin acknowledged that this is an important, yet tricky, topic. “As a sports federation we have to promote physical activity,” he said. “At the same time, we cannot ignore the trends. We want to focus on how to use esports for education. We are in contact with the Olympic family for this, with the IOC, and are thinking actively about this.”

Mountain biking made a very positive impression on the 2018 World University Championship calendar

Collaboration and Sport Management 

Represented by Julien Carrel, the FISU Sports Management Committee has been actively involved in signing collaboration agreements over the past two quarters, which has resulted in the agreements being extended with the following International Federations: World Sailing, International Golf Federation, World Rowing.


FISU has signed new collaboration agreements with the International Weightlifting Federation and the International Powerlifting Federation, with the latter set to join the FISU sports programme for the first time during the 2022 World University Championship season.



FISU Development Committee's strategic work lead to continental advances

FISU and FASU signed a Memorandum of Understanding tin Krasnoyarsk with the expressed interest to strengthen the role of university sport on the African continent

The Committee for the Development of University Sport (CDSU) reported on the continued dialogues and cooperation with the Continental University Sport Federations as a vital means to increasing the University Sport Movement’s role and involvement 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 and NUSF Relations Manager Tarmo Jaakson presented the report. 


Notable developments over the past two quarters included a FISU-AUSF Strategic Dialogue held in October 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.  Mr. Shen reported that East Timor, Brunei, Laos and Myanmar joined the AUSF family. Mr. Shen also noted that Kelme had been secured as a sponsor for all team kits at all AUSF competitions.


Mr. Jaakson looked to the ambitious schedule of the Development committee, noting the upcoming dates for future strategic dialogues. During his presentation, Mr. Jaakson noted an area of opportunity for FISU’s member associations: increasing their digital presence as nearly half of the NUSF’s do not have a website.


Mrs. Barieva lauded the efforts of the FISU’s member association in Argentenia, FeDUA, particularly its work on behalf of university sports and promoting dual-career at the University Sports House at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.


The most poignant moment of the day came with Mr. Leonz expressed condolences for the passing of Sandy Rodriguez as all executive committee members observed a moment of silence in the honour of a friend and enthusiastic promoter of university sports.

FISU and AUSF leaders signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the eve of the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade 


FISU Education: Adding the school to student sports


Central to FISU’s mission of helping student-athletes reach their potential in and out of sport, the Education Department has been busy putting on events and initiatives with a teaching and tutelage focus. 


As a fan of university sport, you’re probably already well versed in how the Winter Universiade is a premiere international sports event, but there’s so much more to this event than that here in Siberia.


From the 5-7 March, the World Conference event will be a key FISU platform that allows  education exchange amongst research leaders, sports officials and practitioners of sport. This biennial event two-day programme on the U-Village campus at the Siberian Federal University will dive deep into the student sports events experience, specifically on creating innovative events that emphasise legacy and sustainability.


Looking to the future, Mrs. Barieva presented on developments of the next World Conference, which will take place during the 30th Winter Universiade. Following the finish of the Krasnoyarsk edition, the FISU Flag representing this education event will be handed over to representatives from the city in central Switzerland.


Young future sports leaders on the ground in Krasnoyarsk

Joining the FISU team in Krasnoyarsk during the Winter Universiade are four standout performers from the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy for the delivery of certain functional areas. Back on their campus and community, around 25 FVLA alumni have been very active to ensure that sports events and activities are well represented. 


Dr. Burk delivered a status update on the FISU Forum, which is set for the 12-16 August in Budapest. The main theme will be tied to the legacy of FISU and the future of university sport. Sub-themes will be refined and presented at the next FISU Executive Committee meeting.


On the Clean Sport front, the e-learning textbook that FISU and the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has been updated and it available to students and the public at large on the Adel platform.


“Education is very important to our global strategy and I am looking forward to the good cooperation between FISU and the team assisting the World Conference on the Siberian Federal  University,” the FISU President noted in his remarks.


What it's all about; FISU does it for the students


While the FISU Student Committee did not hold any events in the interim between the last Executive Committee meeting, representatives have been focusing their efforts since then to achieve their 2019 action plan. Over the last two quarters that has involved taking a looking how to best have a student section on the FISU website that gives those thinking of, or attending, universities resources that assist them in their education and professional pursuits. 


The next meeting of the Student Committee will take place at the FISU Volunteer Leadership Academy from he 12-18 September, as the committee looks to this as an ideal occasion to promote the role of the committee towards students and FISU Ambassadors. 


Gender Equality: Promoting inclusion through sport


Sport can and does have a positive influence on the advancement of gender equality. Gender equality in sport has come a long way. But there's still more work to be done. 


Gender Equality chair Rosaura Mendez and vice-chair Penninah Kabenge presented on the work that FISU is doing to be an active agent of advancement of opportunities for all. In 2019, the committee will celebrate achievements in this arena with the FISU Gender Equality Sports Award, which will be presented at the FISU Gala in November in Torino. 


“This will give this very good visibility of this event,” President Matytsin remarked in the question-and-answer part of the presentation.


The committee also remarked on the importance of 8th of March, the International Women’s Day. FISU honours the day through a Universiade-time roundtable event. Titled “Sports Professionals Communication Skills for the Future,” this initiative is not only for women, but also coaches and administative workers in sports. 


“We recognised the importance of organising several events in conjunction with other FISU events, especially education and cultural events,” Mrs. Kabenge said.


Looking further afield with Action Plan 2019 objectives, Mrs. Mendez succinctly summarised the committee’s mission. “We want to promote the lingua franca — the language of understanding throughout the global sport community,” she said. “ To do this, we need to document the importance and action of women as protagonists in the university sport movement.”


Developments in the marketing space


FISU Marketing Director Christian Monzani was joined with FISU Marketing Manager Adelia Faizulina in presenting the federation’s vision for furthering FISU’s role and reach onto the university campus.


A key component of this, Mr. Monzani explained, would come by activating a FISU partnership programme with top suppliers and competitors. The vision is to further FISU’s relations with current sponsors and to engage with other marketing categories.


Mr. Monzai discussed the strengths, opportunities, and challenges — specifically the integration of sport and students


“Unexplotied potential could be transformed into a new powerful asset for FISU,” said Mr. Monzani. “The main purpose of the marketing department is to create a new FISU community model that is oriented to university students.”


To deliver on the FISU brand and activities, the marketing department has started delving deeper into the audience analytics that FISU events attract — in addition to the vision of what the federation stands for and where its efforts are moving in the future.   


Summarsed Monzani: “We are moving to the youth of sport.”



The Special Projects of FISU

Driven by the aspiration of being an effective sports standard-bearer, the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy has attracted youth to FISU’s member association initiatives.  The General Advisor to the FISU President, Igor Sivov, presented on the 2018 event along with plans for the upcoming edition, which will be in its third iteration this year.


In 2018, 111 participants from 96 National and Continental University Sports Federations made their way to Kazan for eight days of instruction and inspiration, which included the highlights of both volunteering during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and watching the opening match in the Universiade Stadium in Kazan.


Upon completing the academy, the attendees were awarded with the title and responsibility of FISU Student Ambassador. One of the most promising development to originate through the FVLA Student Ambassadors is the role these emerging leaders have taken in organising International Day of University Sport events in their local communities.



Universiade Flame Relay - Spreading the joy of the Universiade

The FISU Flame is making its way to the Winter Universiade 2019, to officially open the event with the lighting of the Universiade Cauldron on 2 March.


It wasn’t all about winter; during the relay presentation, Mr. Sivov presented the tentative plan for the event in the lead-in to the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade which included a start in Torino on 21 July, then visiting Lausanne and Rome before opening the 30th Summer Universiade in early July.



Promoting Health on the University Campus


Unveiled at last September’s executive committee session, Healthy Campus is a core initiative to improve overall sport activity opportunities on campuses worldwide. 


On the eve of  Winter Universiade 2019, FISU Executive Committee Member Fernando Parente was joined with FISU project assistant Kushtresa Gashi to present developments on the Healthy Campus programme.


Mr. Parente presented more concrete information on how FISU expects to roll-out this initiative. This included creating an intuitive, comprehensive digital platform that is supported by a robust business plan with strong marketing activity to ensure commercial sustainability.


Mrs. Gashi discussed Healthy Campus’s first public presentation during the European Network of Academic Sport Sciences (ENAC) Forum in Nijmengan, Netherlands. Mrs. Gashi and Mr. Parente also recently presented the programme and platform plan to the World Health Organisation.


During the presentation, the official project timelines launch were also unveiled for the executive committee members.


It comes every two years — the World University Championships

While 2019 might not be the season of the World University Championships, a six-strong contingent comprised of Mr. Dymalski and Mr. Parente, alongside FISU Staff Members: director general Paulo Ferreira,  sport coordinator Julien Carrel, sport assistant Alejandro Guerra, and junior sport assistant Fiona Testuz.


Since the executive committee’s September sessions, three World University Championships rounded out the 2018 season (Cheerleading, Badminton, Bridge).  By the season’s end, 2018 proved to be a banner year as there were new records in competitors (6,972), from 92 countries representing 1,675 universities for a World University Championship year.   


In 2020, new host cities were proposed for the sports of sailing in the Italian city of Campione del Garda and Sport Climbing in France.


For the 2022 World University Championship seasons, the bidding programme was recently opened for 21events.


In 2019 FISU launched a sports survey, with the Championships department using the information from this when considering more events outside the ones planned in 2020 and the 21 proposed for the 2022 World University Championship edition.



What was once the World University League now joins the University World Cup sports property umbrella

Kgatlana-Thembi (left) and Kgatlana Thembi celebrate after a scoring a goal against Russia in Women's Football at the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade

Following the advice of FISU President Oleg Matytsin at the last executive committee meeting, the World University Leagues and upcoming University World Cup sports properties have now been rebranded under a more unified roof — the University World Cup.


If this is the end of the World University League as a naming, the moniker went out with a flourish during the fourth edition of the 3x3 Basketball in Xiamen, China. The lead-in to these finals was a noticeable uptick in the number of teams and participating universities vying for the title as the world number one university in 3x3 Basketball.


For the inaugural event of the University World Cup — Football, the local organisers have signed a title sponsor: Kelme. The sportswear company that specialises in the football, futsal, running and tennis has a presence in the event’s host city of Jinjiang, China. During the presentation, the University World Cup team announced that the local organisers had secured broadcast partners.


To help ensure the highest level of University World Cups and World University Championship events, three representatives from each organising committee are invited to the FISU headquarters for concentrated transfer of knowledge meetings on best practices for hosting international-level single sport events.


Representing FISU and reaching new sports fans


The aim of FISU’s efforts in the areas of media, communication and broadcast revolves around creating and sustains an active global community is actively involved in the University Sports Movement.


Led by FISU Communication and Media Chair Dr. Verena Burk, the FISU Media team spoke with precise passion about the team’s efforts to keep the traditional FISU audience informed on developments inside university sports while also targeting the key FISU audience — university students — with original content and programming, live sports production and news.


Joining Dr. Burk on stage were the federation’s  head of media, Torin Koos; press officer, Tina Sharma; publications & graphic design coordinator, Yuan Ren; and digital media coordinator, Max Länge.


On the press relations front, FISU Media has put a very honest effort in collaborating with International federations within the Olympic movement, many of which will now take news articles, video highlights and live streams of their sports across their digital and traditional channels. Mrs. Sharma also outlined how FISU Media has targeted and built relationships with the world’s three leading wire services — AP/SNTV, Reuters, Agency France-Presse — and CGTN for the Russian-speaking market.


Dr. Burk announced a first for a Winter Universiade: the FISU Young Reporters Programme. "This programme showcases what is so great about sports, about education and the Universiade. I see we even have an alumni of this programme up here presenting with me today." Mr. Länge was part of the programme during the Gwangju 2015 Summer Universiade. 


With the Russian public sports channel Match TV as the host broadcaster, expectations are justifiably high for excellent viewing experience for television and live streaming viewers alike. Every medal event and team semifinal is available for International distribution, with each of these events available on FISU’s new live streaming site, FISU.TV, on various federation social channels and over 100 hours on


“Our goal is to make FISU events available to anyone who wants to watch, anywhere in the world, on any device,” Mr. Koos said. “As the sports leader for international university sports events, it just makes sense to do all we can in digital media — that’s where we can find our core audience of university sports fans. With this edition of the Winter Universiade, we are getting close to reaching that goal.”