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17 September 2021 | in International Day Of University Sport

FISU Secretary General-CEO’s thoughts on IDUS 2021

In just under one week, the International Day of University Sport (IDUS) will be celebrated worldwide. In 2020, over three million people celebrated IDUS with over 1,100 activities worldwide spread over five continents. Now in its sixth year, this day proclaimed by UNESCO will be celebrated once again—bigger and better in 2021.


FISU Secretary General and CEO, Eric Saintrond, shared his thoughts on IDUS for this year.


What does IDUS mean to you?

“For me, it is great to see students celebrating this day on university campuses. The goal of IDUS is not only to bring awareness to university sport, but to use university sport as a way to promote activity and well-being on campus. Student-athletes are an integral part of the University Sport Movement, but if we can involve students who are not student-athletes but can still contribute to the values of the university sport community, we consider this as a great advantage for university sport worldwide and FISU.”


How have you seen IDUS celebrated in the past?

“Where do I begin? Our friends within our National and Continental University Sports Federations have done an outstanding job with increasing participation each year. For FISU, 2020 was a year when we had to be a bit more creative, given that the situation was different from previous years. We honestly did not know what to expect. It was no surprise that even when the world was at a standstill, our FISU friends, family and university communities came together and set record numbers for participation. This not only shows how much people value physical activity in the context of university sport, but also the resilience that university sport communities have to come together, even in the toughest times.”


What is your favourite part of IDUS?

“Our member associations get very creative during this time and with the world turning to technology and the virtual world in recent years, we have seen everything from virtual sporting events to seminars and even photo challenges. My favourite part is seeing how different cultures across the world celebrate and bring their own cultural components to their events and communities. I am looking forward to see what 2021 has to offer and I wish everyone an exciting International Day of University Sport!”


What is FISU doing to celebrate IDUS this year?

“IDUS on 20 September will be very special for us this year as the FISU World University Games Flame will be lit in Torino—of course as the birthplace of the Universiade—and will make its way to Lucerne for the Winter Games in December. University sport would not be what it is today without the first Universiade in Torino, so IDUS day this year is very significant to us—representing the rebirth of university sports activities all around the world,” said Saintrond.


“Also given our new visual identity launched in 2020, the new FISU logo comes with a lot of meaning and a very colourful design, representing the five continents and the infinite gradients in between. We want the world to show their colours through our IDUS in Colour photo contest, submit their photos with as much colour as they can and show their IDUS related activities with pride.”


IDUS is just around the corner and university communities are already starting to celebrate worldwide in the lead-up to the big day. For more information on how to participate in the photo competition (with a great prize!), for promotional material or to simply learn more about IDUS, please visit our website.


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