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24 September 2017 | in NUSF News, International Day Of University Sport

A Universiade gold medalist asks: is IDUS simply a day or something more?


Filippo Corti went from being a part of the Italian team that won gold at the Gwangju Summer Universiade in football to now working within sports. The University of Milan graduate wrote this article about what the International Day of University Sport means to him.


 Filippo with his gold medal and mascot after helping Italy win gold at the Gwangju Summer Universiade

For one week this past summer I represented my country of Italy at the FISU Volunteers Leaders Academy in Kazan, Russia. I shared this experience of 110 representatives around the world as we took sport management courses taught by world-renowned sport experts while working on a team project.


The design of projects for the implementation and promotion of the International Day of University Sports (IDUS) was one of the tasks the organizers challenged Academy's participants with. We got divided into groups and suggested real projects in order not to lessen this celebration to a mere one, but to give it a deserved concretization. With a little bit of luck, September 20th of the forthcoming years shall be celebrated with the realization of these projects.


I would now like to reflect on the real meaning of IDUS, thanks to the work carried out in Kazan. Among its many meanings, the most obvious is to confirm the importance of sport in universities and to highlight the role of universities and university sport federations in consolidating and developing quality sport education at the service of citizens.


On this date, FISU mobilizes the academic world. Event proposals around the world involve leisure activities, contests, discussion workshops and cultural events for citizens of all ages. With IDUS, FISU and UNESCO join in and promote (within a shared educational project) social inclusion, integration of minorities, anti-doping campaigns and the development of scientific research in the field of physical education and sport. However, from my experience as an athlete and a university graduate, this is not enough. I could look for the significance of the day’s importance by simply recalling my Universiade experiences to see how much both university life and international sporting life wholly involve the individual in their path of human growth.


However, it was in the Universiade edition held at Taipei, which I have lived alongside the team at the Centro Universitario Sportivo Italiano, and not in the middle of the field, that I could observe how, really, it isn't just the athlete to be completely sunk in this world studded with qualities and passion but, rather, all those who live for sport and those who dream of it.


Filippo is also comfortable behind the microphone, having been a guest speaker and assistant head of delegation for Centro Universitario Sportivo Italiano (CUSI) in Kazan and Taipei  

FISU’s motto is "Today's Stars, Tomorrow's Leaders" and UNESCO responds "Building peace in the minds of men and women." With this responsibility, in the memory of the intensity and power of the experiences lived and conscious of the shared mission of UNESCO and FISU I have come to realize that the spirit of this day - which finds its utmost expression in the Universiade - must live and thrive in the hearts and minds of today and tomorrow's leaders. To conclude, I find the real meaning of this day in the words of President of FISU, Oleg Matytsin, "university sports education is one of the best key to success in the modern world, it is also the best way to shape leadership skills, teach values of fair play, teamwork, respect of the opponents and respect for different cultures. "


I also find great meaning in the words of UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova:"Dialogue, self-respect and respect for others, fair play and pursuit of excellence are all framing principles of student training. Education and sports need to be at the core of our societies, and this Day provides a forum for highlighting the social role of universities and their curricula by making sport available to all and encouraging people to exercise regularly.”


I wish everyone a very happy September 20th and, with a little hope, I trust others around the world are reflecting upon this matter much like I have done!

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