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27 April 2018 | in FISU

Now its official!

FISU officially moves its headquarters to the University of Lausanne 


The FISU operations team, with President Oleg Matytsin (fourth from left) and several other key figures in the international university sport movement, in front of their new headquarters on building inauguration day

LAUSANNE — With the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon, FISU President Oleg Matytsin ushered in a new era as the home of international university sports officially opened their new headquarters in the Olympic capital city today.



Situated in a park-like setting inside the University of Lausanne campus, the new base of operations for FISU is the Synathlon — a new building dedicated to sport sciences and international University Sport development. Located with a clear view onto Lake Geneva, the venue is the home base to the International University Sports Cluster, a one-stop shop of organisations and entities that would benefit from industry-leading sports management training and research.


Visionary architect Jeannette Kuo of Karamuk*Kuo Architects holds the ceremonial scissors beside UNIL President Nouria Hernandez (centre) during the opening day celebrations for the Synathlon building

Sharing the Synathlon building with FISU is the University of Lausanne’s sport science operations, ThinkSport, and the International Academy of Sciences and Sports Techniques (AISTS) — the world number one ranked programme in sport management.



During Mr. Matytsin’s inauguration ceremony address, the FISU President highlighted he symbolism of FISU moving onto the university campus grounds. And while the day marked the official opening, 30 FISU employees moved into the building three months earlier.


FISU President Oleg Matytsin delivering his inauguration ceremony speech in front of the Synathlon building on the University of Lausanne campus

“The biggest compliment that we have for the Synathlon is a simple one, but its also a powerful one,” the FISU President said. “It was only a very short time before we felt completely at home here. Home because FISU has university sport as our very essence.”



“To look out the window and see students training and studying is a great motivation,” Mr. Matytsin added. “Home because students, these leaders of tomorrow, are the reason why we exist. To come to work here is to share the optimism of students for a great future.”


FISU President Matytsin (left) with University of Lausanne Rector Nouria Hernandez during the reception and building tour after the Synathlon opening ceremony

Joining Mr. Matytsin for the opening were top local and regional political leaders, university officials, sports administrators, and a contingent of journalists. The list of luminaries who spoke with Mr. Matytsin included three state councillors; Pascal Broulist, Cesla Amarelle and Philippe Leuba; and the University of Lausanne Rector, Nouria Hernandez.



The official ceremony was the capstone event that put to end a seven-year period of transition as FISU moved its base of operations from Brussels to Lausanne. FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond and authorities from the Canton of Vaud began planning and conceptualising the project back in 2010.


FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond speaks to journalists about how the Synathlon helps realise an initiative seven years in the making as FISU First-Vice President Leonz Eder (second from left) looks on

In 2012, FISU moved its sports operations and part of its administrative, financial and marketing teams to the nearby Maison du Sport while also maintaining part of its administrative department, and its development, education, and media teams in Brussels until late 2017.



“It was certainly a bold gamble to unite all the organisations involved in sport and education under the Synathlon roof, but its one that’s already paying dividends,” Mr. Saintrond said. “As part of this centre of excellence, FISU is even better suited to promote the concept of dual career.



“Students and employees here work and learn in an environment that is beneficial to elite athletes, to help them improve their sporting, intellectual and leadership prowess,” Mr. Saintrond added. “Since FISU’s inception in 1949, we have banked on a society whose leaders have been positively influenced by an athletic career while also pursuing higher education. Today, we are in an even better position to help young people realise this ambition.”


The compact, along cube-like building of the Synathlon offers dynamic spaces of exchange that are unique to each of its five floors, forming a landscape of terraces for informal activities and collaborative work