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10 June 2020 | in NUSF News

Developing university sports is a challenge in Paraguay

Internationa Day of University Sports 10k

“University sport in Paraguay is neglected by young students and also by national authorities and institutions," says a disappointed Horacio Laguardia, President of the National Association of University Sports in Paraguay (ANDUP) to future FISU Student Ambassador Guillermo Centurion. "The current scenario that ANDUP is facing is not far from the worst. The sad reality is a total lack of interest."

 

“The best moment for university sports in our country was in the 1980s and 90s when it was very popular. It was then managed by the University Sports Confederation (CUD), which later lost credibility due to economic and administrative problems," Laguardia explains. "This resulted in the disapperance of student sports. Even though ANDUP was founded in 2002, it only functioned for two years. It was not until 2017 when a group of enthusiastic young students took charge, that the movement began again. Now the challenge is to make it grow again."

 

"Today, ANDUP has 10 member universities, but thanks to the application of new methods and strategies we were able to get 15 universities and almost 2000 athletes to participate in our activities last year," says Laguardia.

 

1st swimming edition (2)“Some of our most remarkable achievements in 2019 were the first edition of the swimming competition (left) between universities, and the marathon to celebrate the International Day of University Sports (IDUS). Although there’s a lot more to be done, we are beginning to find our feet."

 

Naturally, the projects for 2020 are currently uncertain due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Regarding this, Laguardia says, "Some of the activities will have to be postponed and others will be suspended. Although COVID-19 does not allow us to organise some events, it opens some unexplored doors and gives us the opportunity to implement new strategies such as eSports. We are already organising the first eSports tournament at a university level."

 

Volley FemeninoDespite the challenging situation, ANDUP has set high goals for itself. "The first goal is to make young students interested in participating in sports competitions and representing their universities. It is a bigger challenge because the ones in charge of organising these events are all students themselves, who must also carry on with their studies."

 

"One of the most ambitious goals that the ANDUP members have in mind is to bring and apply the FISU Healthy Campus project to our universities, and through this project, try to generate interest among the universities to develop their sporting programmes."

 

"The challenge is set and clear," says Laguardia. "Now we have to move forward and take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented to us, such as the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy. This will help us create bonds with other NUSFs and learn new methods and strategies to progress so that we can give university sports the prestige that it deserves."

 

By: Guillermo Centurion