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07 December 2019 | in NUSF News

Argentinian University Sport Federation dreams big

Convinced that sport and education are the best tools to improve quality of life in society, Emiliano Ojea, founding president of the Argentinian University Sport Federation (FeDUA) spoke to FISU Student Ambassadors Sofía Berrio, Luz Pisani and Leilén Perez Diez about the relevance of university sport.


He told them about the history, the values, the plans and the dreams of the Argentinian Federation.


“When some of us travelled to the Shenzhen 2011 Summer Universiade in China, we got to know about the FISU world. There, we met representatives of other South American countries and discovered their organisation models. Then, when we came back to Argentina, we decided that we had to create our own National University Sports Federation.”


That’s how FeDUA was founded and the next step was to bring the national universities on board. Today, the Argentinian NUSF covers the whole education system in the country, with more than 30 affiliated universities.


“When we hold events, we don’t discriminate between affiliates or non-affiliates,” said Ojea. “In the tournaments and different activities that FeDUA organises all the universities and higher education institutions around the country are invited to participate. We have around 20,000 student athletes who participate in our activities.”


The FeDUA President also explained the communicational strategy for reaching out to students. “We keep in contact with all the rectors of the Argentinian universities through official letters and every week we send a newsletter to the sport coordinators of all higher education institutions of the country about our activities and future projects.”


Keeping in touch with the times, they also communicate with the sport coordinators on WhatsApp groups to share information more effectively and quickly.


“To be in contact with students we have more WhatsApp groups and also our different social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook,” he said. “Because we know that sometimes the communication between students and their institutions may not be the best, we publish everything directly so they can know about our events and have all the information related to FeDUA.”


In 2017 Ojea took part in the FISU Working Group meeting and following that, FeDUA drafted the ‘Argentinian University Sports 2030’ plan​.


“The purpose was to think and plan ahead for our development over the next 10 years,” explained Ojea. “To draft this, we rectors, teachers, students, athletes, professionals, leaders, journalist and authorities from our National Olympic Committee as well as from FISU and FISU America.”


“With this plural view we were able to find common points and could build our objectives for the long term.”

One of their main objectives is to position Argentina as a country that is capable of organising top rung international sports events. Towards this, FeDUA will host the World University Rugby Sevens Championship in the year 2020, from 17-20 September.


“We are working closely with the Argentinian Rugby Union, the local university, the National University of La Plata and with the venue where the event will be held, which is La Plata Rugby Club,” Ojea spoke of preparations for the event.


“We are a really active federation that always has new proposals to start new projects, based on the guidelines that FISU gives,” said Ojea.


One of their outstanding initiatives was recognised by FISU at the recently concluded FISU Gala, where FeDUA won the ‘Best FISU Promotion Project Award’. This was for the ‘House of University Sport’ booth, that was proposed by FeDUA to the Argentinian Olympic Committee and subsequently executed at the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games.


Another highlight is the National Volunteer Leaders Academy that they have created in the imprint of the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy. “This year we presented a project that was approved by FISU, for other American countries to come to Argentina and then apply this model in their countries too,” Ojea said.


“We want our Ambassadors to be involved in FeDUA activities and also with FISU activities at an international level. We want them to have more participation in FISU Forums and in the different FISU Commissions.”


“In Argentina, we would like all athletes to also have an education and a career so FeDUA has taken on the responsibility to see that this happens. Our idea is that there should be a state policy on dual career.” 


By: FISU Student Ambassadors Sofía Berrio, Luz Pisani and Leilén Perez Diez