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19 August 2021 | in FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy

FISU Student Ambassadors finding opportunity in challenging times

Playing an important part as the link between FISU and student communities worldwide, FISU Student Ambassadors gathered virtually once again on 13 August for a year in review about 2020 and 2021. Engaging topics were covered by FISU staff, FISU Student Ambassador administrators and FISU Student Ambassadors themselves.

 

Moderator Shonisani Masutha and programme administrators – also a FISU Student Ambassador herself – took the group through the sessions such as the statistics of the programme so far, summary of results and a deep dive into action plan implementations. Kicking off the proceedings was FISU Director of Education and Development, Lilia Barieva, who expressed her gratitude for the continuous work FISU Student Ambassadors worldwide.

 

“I would like to thank those of you who joined us in 2020/2021. We thought 2020 would be tough, but it actually worked very well so thank you all very much for this as you helped us develop the programme even more,” said Lilia.  “At FISU, we are really focused on developing university sport, which is not possible to do alone at our headquarters. You, the FISU Student Ambassadors, are a great support to us and our NUSFs.”


FISU Student Ambassadors programme administrators explained the involvement of student ambassadors during the past year. Despite a difficult year for many, the programme grew to having a total of 116 participations thus far, involved in various activities such as NUSF communication, IDUS activities and hosting monthly webinars.

 

It was FISU Student Ambassadors Tajae Wallace (JAM), Yun Chia Chung (TPE), Fahimeh Mohammad from Iran (IRI) and Federico Garcia (ARG) who continued the conversation about NUSF communication, developing a project action plan and turning challenges into opportunities.

 

In a session facilitated by FISU Student Ambassador of Jamaica, Tajae Wallace, some very useful tips on communication with NUSFs were given to the webinar participants:

  • Be patient
  • Be prepared
  • Be consistent and repetitive
  • Be professional and respectful at all times
  • Take initiative

 

Putting this into practice, Tajae spoke of an opportunity that arose from communicating with his NUSF in Jamaica.

 

“From my own experience, I did a social media campaign last year for IDUS where I engaged university sport students to make one post that reflects on their entire sporting career,” said Tajae.  It got a lot of traction here in Jamaica, so my NUSF reached out to me and it was the first time they ever took that first step. I sat down with the NUSF President to see what we could do more together, and what I could do for them.”

 

Also speaking about communicating with NUSFs was Fahimeh Mohammad Hassan from the Islamic Republic of Iran, who not only added to the tips from Tajae, but also talked about the success of FISU Student Ambassadors in her country followed by various projects underway at her NUSF.

 

“One of the action plans for our NUSF was to hold a Provincial Olympiad as the FISU World University Games were cancelled this year,” said Fahimeh. “We will organise 12 events in the disciplines where we have a participating delegation in the upcoming FISU World University Games. These Games will be held in Iran from November 2021- February 2022.”

Yun Chia Chung kept the conversation going, but this time from the point of view of working within her NUSF as an assistant. Yun Chia explained the key ingredients to assembling a good project action plan, while talking about learnings from her own experience:

 

  1. Find your target audience
  2. Brainstorm your topic
  3. How to implement the event
  4. When and where to host
  5. How to expect departments to help you
  6. Plan must be detailed

 

Furthermore, Yun Chia encouraged ambassadors to contact their network and push the boundaries for extraordinary results.

 

“Expanding your social network is very important. Furthermore, you also need to stay outside your comfort zone. Most importantly, extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people,” she said.  

 

Communicating with NUSFs and creating action plans were made clear by presenters, but FISU Student Ambassador from Argentina, Fererico Garcia, proved that steps can still be taken in challenging times such as 2020.

 

His NUSF had no university activities because of health policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by other challenging events in 2020. However, he managed to take these challenges and turn them into new opportunities around creating a Young Community Leaders Programme and even planning IDUS activities.

 

“Through crisis, we grow personally and professionally and sometimes it is important to have a crisis because from them arise new opportunities,” explained Fererico. “It is important to stay motivated because if things don’t go our way, if we are motivated, we will find a new solution and within the solution new opportunities come.”

 

It is in these words of wisdom from experienced FISU Student Ambassadors that this webinar concluded, providing valuable input, tips and tricks to ensure the success of the next generation of ambassadors.

 

Please visit our website for more information on becoming a FISU Student Ambassador or joining the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy (FVLA). The next FVLA 2021 sessions will take place from 8-10 September. More information can be found here.

 

 

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