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07 August 2018 | in Forum

Equal opportunity a key theme during Day 2 of FISU Forum

Winter Universiade 2019 organisers ensured a top-notch start to the FISU Forum in Krasnoyarsk

KRASNOYARSK, RUSSIAN FEDERATION – The upcoming Winter Universiade host city showed itself as a vivid hub of youth and culture during the FISU Forum’s official opening Tuesday morning.


On the second day of the educational event, FISU President Oleg Matytsin led the proceedings. He was joined on stage by a host of international university sport leaders, a group that included Verena Burk, FISU Senior Executive Committee Member and Chair of the Federation’s Education and Media and Communication Committees; Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia; and Alexander Uss, Acting Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, during the audience address.


Participants from 47 countries joined them after the traditional waving their nations’ flags. The officials’ welcoming speeches were framed by a colourful cultural programme that emphasized Russian pop music, artistics and street dancing.

Athleticism and enthusiasm were on strong display at the official opening of the FISU Forum in Krasnoyarsk as the event's colourful cultural programme emphasized Russian pop music and street dancing


FISU President Oleg Matytsin spoke of this gratitude to the Krasnoyarsk Territory for their work in hosting of the Forum – and for their ongoing preparation for the upcoming Winter Universiade.


“The FISU Forum is a unique international event which unites the young people from all over the world. The distinctive feature of the event is that it is held in the hospitable Krasnoyarsk city, which in half a year literally, will host the Winter Universiade 2019,” President Matytsin said. “It gives the possibilities for the FISU Forum participants to get acquainted with the venues of the upcoming Games and to get to know better this wonderful city.”


FISU President Oleg Matytsin (second from left) and FISU Executive Committee Member Verena Burk (left) joined Olga Golodets (third from left), Deputy Prime Minister of Russia; and Alexander Uss, Krasnoyarsk Acting Governor, during the audience address

In his welcoming speech, Alexander Uss expressed confidence that the holding of the FISU Forum in the center of Siberia will give new impulses to the development of student sports and will contribute to confidence and friendship building between the young delegates of their countries.


“Krasnoyarsk Territory, as much as the Russian Federation, has been living with the upcoming Universiade for more than four years,” Mr. Uss said. “A total of 207 days are left prior to the Universiade. This is a short but sufficient time to complete the preparation and implement the challenging dreams and plans.”


 At the end of his speech, Uss declared the 14th edition of the FISU Forum officially open.

The FISU Forum crowd has first class presenters and performers again on day two of the five day conference

The ceremony was attended by the Ambassadors of the Winter Universiade 2019. This group included Ilya Averbukh, Olympic silver medalist in figure skating; Olga Zharkova, the eleven-time Russian champion in curling and Krasnoyarsk activist Natalya Kaptelinina.


The Opening Ceremony was followed by the plenary discussion where Dr. Burk and Delise O'Meally, the United States’s International University Sports Federation Secretary General, spoke on the powerful intersection of sport and university studies.

As a former elite university tennis player and holder of an MBA, Delise O'Meally is a vocal advocate for opportunities for women and people of color, and a passionate believer in the unique power of sports to break down barriers

The afternoon’s part was the most anticipated as it started seminars and workshops sessions on various topics where the knowledge gained during the lectures could be used to exchange ideas, share experiences and try to help with solving issues afflicting some federations. All seminars were united by the common theme – ensuring equal opportunities in sport. During the parallel sessions, the Forum participants discussed how student sport is an ideal incubator for developing one’s leadership as well as furthering gender and social equality in society.


Delise O’Meally followed up on her topic from the morning’s panel about the implicit or subconscious bias: There was an interactive discussion how the subconscious biases impact our decisions, our opportunities and our lives. The world constantly sends messages about race, religion, sex, age, physical ability among other things. O’Meally explained to participants how to recognize and counteract these stereotypes that live deep beneath our conscious mind.




The second half of the afternoon was dedicated to project work. FISU Education Committee members Renata Bojczuk and Elena Rudaya gave a lecture on project management. It would help students in project preparation. 10 groups of students will prepare a project on a chosen topic throughout the end of the week: International Day of University Sport celebration, volunteering or promoting the Winter Universiade.


Two-time Paralympic champion Alexei Moshkin captured the Forum’s essence when speaking about the importance that sport plays in all our lives.


“Sport teaches us not only to occupy the highest podium,” the alpine skier said. “It teaches us discipline, sociability, strength of mind and will. I think this is one of the best tools for rehabilitation in society.”


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