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22 September 2018 | in Lausanne in Motion, International Day Of University Sport

FISU gets Lausanne in Motion

LAUSANNE — Motivated by movement and inclusion, FISU, local universities and the city of Lausanne turned a historic waterfront into a hub of sports activities. With a beautifully sunny Saturday, residents of the Olympic Capital came out in droves to mingle with the students from the world-renowned universities based here, all in the name of sport!

The third edition of the Lausanne in Motion festival brought a whole host of new and exciting activities to the people of Lausanne to try their hand at, both on and off the glimmering shores of Lake Geneva. Part of the ongoing celebrations of the International Day of University Sport, the event aims to get people moving out of their comfort zones and into the fit zone. 


“With this event, we unite people with sport and demonstrate that sport is not only for champions or competitive athletes,” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin in the midst of all the activity. “Sport should be for everyone.”


Looking around at the many families and children present the FISU President added, “I see small kids on the climbing wall and many others who are here with their parents and friends. This is the main goal of this project - to unite people, to educate people through sport and help them enjoy sport.” 


Two-time Olympian and celebrated Swiss rower Augustin Maillefer tried almost every activity at the various booths along the waterfront, which ranged from Parkour and Breakdance in the ‘Urban Zone’ to Zumba, Sypoba, Boxing and MMA. There were three such hubs for group activities and also Stand Up Paddle Boarding out on the water. With more than 30 scheduled activities throughout the day Augustin may have been spoilt for choice, but he seemed that it was boxing that really captured his attention.


"I’m a rower, but it’s always good to try new sports, especially when its in my city, the Olympic city of Lausanne,” said Maillefer, who is also a University of Lausanne student studying sport science while also keeping his ambitions on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. “Working with a real boxing trainer here was great. Everytime I put my guard down, she reminded me to keep my hands up with a little tap to the head. Honestly, it was great, really really great." 

Joining Maillefer for the boxing course was Swiss Ski Cross star Zoé Cheli and Swiss swimming standout Noémi Girardet. "What’s not to love? We got this event, we got the sun, and we got plenty of new sports to try,” said Girardet, a Rio Games competitor who specialises in the freestyle disciple. “Maybe I should consider changing from Swimming to Boxing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!"


The climbing wall, or ‘escalade’ as it is called in French, was certainly one of the most popular activities of the day. It attracted a large number of children and adults alike, including FISU Secretary General & CEO, Eric Saintrond.


“I used to be a climber,” he explained with a smile. “So I will try that.” 


More importantly, he explained the thinking that went into the creation of this festival, that is now being replicated around the world. 


“When FISU moved to Lausanne some years ago, we created the Lausanne in Motion festival because we wanted to show people what kind of activities students were doing on campus, not just the traditional sports,” he explained. “It was also a way for us to be closer to the population of Lausanne.


“The idea behind having activities like Parkour and Stand Up Paddle Boarding is to give people a chance to try something new. We want to create a bridge between student activities and the population of the cities. We hope to spread this concept globally and already many other cities are using the ‘In Motion’ brand to celebrate the International Day of University Sports all around the world."