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21 September 2017 | in International Day Of University Sport

The International Day of University Sport gives a mighty spark to Estonia’s academic world

The student capital of Estonia kicked off over a week of University Sport events with the International Day of University Sport



TARTU, ESTONIA – With UNESCO proclaiming September 20 the International Day of University Sport, festivities and sports activities took centre stage in the intellectual heart of the country.



Universities play a special role in society and provide a place where sport can be fully integrated into everyday life. This is especially true in a city with an internationally renowned school like the University of Tartu. It’s probably not a surprise that Olympic cross-country ski champions like Kristina Šmigun grew up nearby!


The streets and schools of the student capital of Estonia were bustling with activity during the International Day of University Sport  

Fitting the motto “the campus goes to the city, the city meets with the campus” and with Estonia taking the helm of the European Union during its six-month rotational presidency, Tartu has a series of activities focused squarely on the University Sport movement.



This began with the grand opening to the International Day of University Sport on Wednesday with events starting in the early morning hours and running into the dark of night.



Among the most popular events were a military-inspired obstacle course race, group training courses, competitive team events and even a friendly pop-a-shot basketball game that sports and education leaders partook in. The former table tennis player certainly has some hoop skills, especially when it comes to making buckets from the basketball charity stripe. After all was said and done, FISU President Matytsin won the friendly competition.


President Matytsin came out on top on the basketball court in a friendly shoot out competition with other leaders in the sport and academic world  

“We want to encourage all students to practice sports,” President Matytsin said. “No matter if it’s on or off the campus.”


Added Matytsin: “Sport is a real joy. It’s a way of making new friends and having fun together. But even more than that, the regular practice of sports and healthy living is the best way to create the basis for lifelong success.”


Students and the Estonian Academic Sports Federation honored their commitment to University Sport with a with a global video message which was filmed during the nightly student parade through the town  

In addition to the International Day of University Sport, both the EU and the Baltic nation’s leadership show their commitment to the university sport movement with four days focused on supporting dual career athletes and sport in an active society. These events lead into the European Week of Sport.  



As the student capital of Estonia, Tartu was chosen this year to host the European Week of Sport. The students and Estonian Academic Sports Federation showed their commitment to the cause with a global video message filmed during a student night parade. Since then, this video has become a hit on social media with students around the world.


 Students putting together signs before the night stroll through the city of Tartu

European University Sport Federation President Adam Roczek said that what the Estonian students did was an inspiring, both locally and globally.  


"The citizens of Tartu must be proud to be in the frontline of sport initiatives, popularizing physical activity and raising people's awareness about the importance of a healthy life style,” Mr. Roczek said. “A journey of thousand miles starts with a single step and this year, in the eyes of worldwide University community, Tartu is making this first step."