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26 November 2018 | in Summer World University Games, FISU, Hosting

FISU President and Napoli 2019 organisers hold high-level meetings

Along with providing student-athletes the premiere university sports competition, the Summer Universiade give Napoli the opportunity to renovate sports infrastructure, thereby creating long term city benefits 


NAPOLI – Preparations to the 2019 Summer Universiade were under the spotlight during a high-level meeting in the office of the President of the Campania Region this past Friday.


The meeting, or, as it is formally called, the session of the Cabinet of Coordination, brought together all the key stakeholders of the upcoming Universiade, including FISU President Oleg Matytsin, Vice President of the Campania Region Fulvio Bonavitacola and CUSI President Lorenzo Lentini, as well as representatives of ARU, ANCA, CONI and other organisations involved in the preparatory process.


Arriving a day prior to the meeting, FISU President paid a visit on Thursday to the new headquarters of the organising committee in Mostra d'Oltremare, a famous 1930s exhibition centre of major historical significance, and he met with the staff of ARU 2019, the Regional Agency for the Universiade, a legal entity in charge of the preparations. President Matytsin did not miss the chance to visit some of the venues, including those located in Mostra (diving and judo), the famous San Paolo Stadium (home arena for Napoli football club and the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field), Scandone (swimming) and Pallazzo Barbuto (basketball).


Even though the organisers insisted on working rather than symbolic purpose, Friday’s session of the Cabinet of Coordination was not held in a usual format. With the presence of the heads of the municipalities of Napoli, senior ARU staff and major regional media, there were literally no empty seats in the room (Sala della Giunta) at the Regione Campania Headquarters at 81, Santa Lucia Str. in Napoli.


Fulvio Bonavitacola, Vice President of the Campania Region, opened the session by welcoming the FISU President and providing a brief overview of the preparatory activities of the recent months. According to Mr Bonavitacola, despite remaining challenges, Napoli was the right choice for FISU to host its anniversary Universiade.


It was then turn of Gianluca Basile, Special Commissioner of the Universiade, who presented a more detailed report on ARU’s operations and the work that the organisers have been doing to ensure the athletes are accommodated and provided with the necessary conditions in the competition venues. Commissioner Basile stressed the importance of the games as a unique opportunity for Napoli to renovate sports infrastructure, thus creating long term benefits for the city.


FISU President Oleg Matytsin thanked the government of the region, city authorities and ARU for their work. As he said, the Universiade in Napoli is going to be special as FISU’s 70th Anniversary and Universiade’s 60th Anniversary will be celebrated in the country, which has done so much for the university sports over the years. Mr Matytsin underlined the amount of support that FISU has provided since the attribution of the Universiade in June 2016, even dispatching to Napoli its Summer Universiade Director, Marc Vandenplas, for the remaining period of preparation to support the organisers. The President also urged the OC to strictly follow all deadlines, with timing being tight to finalise preparations. FISU will continue to do whatever is needed to assist the OC and ensure the ultimate success of the Universiade, Mr Matytsin added.

Meeting organisers and the FISU President insisted on working rather than symbolic purpose during the meetings, which included venue visits to a number of sports venues and other facilities of the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade

Next week, Adam Sotiriadis, an experienced sports executive invited by FISU, will take over a key position within the OC. As the General Coordinator, he will guide the team, whose task is to ensure the operational readiness of all key functional areas in the remaining seven months before the Universiade Flame will be lit in the San Paolo Stadium. The appointment of Mr Sotiriadis was welcomed during the session on Friday; Lorenzo Lentini, CUSI President, thanked FISU and expressed hope that with Mr Sotiriadis joining the team, the OC would enjoy an additional boost.


Apart from the arrival of the new General Coordinator, next week will also be an important test for the organisers, as representatives of five countries will come to Napoli for a pre-HOD (Heads of Delegations) meeting to assess the city’s progress. Ahead of this development, FISU President visited the city administration for a short meeting with Luigi de Magistris, the Mayor of Napoli, to discuss some aspects of the preparation.