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20 May 2019 | in NUSF News

Seven Costa Ricans headed to Napoli, many more in future

Costa Rica and its university sports movement


“Of the 200,000 university students in Costa Rica, about 50,000 are actively participating in university sport,” says Gerardo Corrales Guevara with a degree of satisfaction. “And all of them are registered in the national database.”


One thing is clear: The University Federation of Sports Costa Rica (FEDEU) is able to have a direct dialogue with its athletes, and that bodes well for the growth of university sport in the country. As he speaks to FISU Student Ambassadors María José Mena and Esteban Sanabria, FEDEU President Guevara is optimistic about the years ahead.

“Currently FEDEU is also supporting and supervising private universities in Costa Rica, in the process of forming their own sports associations,” he adds. “This is for their eventual integration as members of FEDEU. That way, we will continue the growth of and support to, student athletes throughout the national territory.”


Guevara mentions the private universities specifically because FEDEU was initially made up of four sports associations, coming from the main public universities, namely Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), Tecnológico de Costa Rica (ITCR), Universidad Nacional Costa Rica (UNA) and Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED).


FEDEU President Gerardo Corrales Guevara“FEDEU was created in 1985 with the National Council of Rectors (CONARE) and till date, it brings together the public universities of Costa Rica,” explains Guevara further. “But FEDEU in its current form, came into being around 2007-2009, when FISU solidified its structure of continental and national federations. That, along with the need for recognition from our own national laws, meant that FEDEU was properly formed and began to function as a recognised body in the year 2010.”


One of the most important events that FEDEU works on is JUNCOS, the top university-level sports event in Costa Rica.  


“JUNCOS was born in 1985,” Guevara says. “The acronym means ‘National University Sports Games. At the beginning, we conducted eight consecutive editions in eight years and then from the ninth edition onwards, we decided to hold it every 2 years, in odd years.”


There are ten sports disciplines that are part of JUNCOS: Chess, Athletics, Basketball, Football, Futsal, Karate, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Volleyball. Students from universities all over the country compete in these sports and disciplines.


This year 2019 will witness the XXVIII edition of the JUNCOS games where, for the first time, a group of sports volunteers will support the event in all functional areas. This helps pave the way for the development of JUNCOS and also future programmes where volunteers can make their appearance, feels Guevara.


“FEDEU is working towards increasing the competitiveness and the level of students-athletes in the country,” says Guevara. “In addition to JUNCOS, we have six other national sports tournaments organized throughout the year. We are also sending a delegation of seven student athletes to Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade, to compete in the disciplines of Fencing, Gymnastics, Table Tennis and Athletics.”


The objective is to continue in this vein and achieve an increase in participation in international university competitions by 10% every year.