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21 November 2019 | in Summer FISU World University Games

Germany sets course for Summer Universiade 2025 bid

 German sailors navigating the course during the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade

German university sports is going from strength to strength: one week after taking home World University Championship hosting honours at the FISU Gala Awards, the German University Sports Federation (adh) signalled their intent to host Summer Universiade 2025. 


During the 114th General Assembly, university member institutions backed bidding for the world’s second-largest international multi-sports event. In a show of overwhelming support in a closed ballot vote, 95.4 percent of adh university representatives voted in favour of the Rhine-Ruhr region’s candidacy for the 2025 Games. 


"With this vote, the federation has underlined that it has recognised the prospects and opportunities for university sport in Germany arising from an application for the Summer Universiade,” chairman of the adh board Jörg Förster said. “The vote is a strong mark of confidence in the board and the branch office as both have systematically pushed the process forward in a transparent way to keep all of our member universities on the same track over the last few months. Therefore, we can all celebrate this result, which gives us a vital momentum for the next steps.”


Germany last hosted a Universiade in 1989 when Duisburg held the 15th summer edition. Sitting at the junction of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, Duisburg stepped in with a scaled-down Games of just four sports — athletics, men’s basketball, fencing, and rowing — when initial host Sao Paulo unexpectedly pulled out at the last minute. FISU history books called Duisburg and the German university sports federation “an angel” for stepping up when Sao Paulo dropped out. 


Despite extreme time constraints, Duisburg convinced 79 countries and close to 1,800 athletes to participate, with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl proudly opening the event. Stars Michael Johnson (USA), Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) and Paula Ivan (Romania) graced the athletics competition while archrivals the Soviet Union and the United States once again battled for basketball gold. In fencing, the women’s epee and electronic judging system in the sabre events were introduced, and some 30 nations took part in an intense rowing competition. 


As the head of Hochschulsport Hamburg, Förster and his university team organised of this week’s national general assembly and auxiliary committee meetings on the University of Hamburg campus. 


"Adh is a federation that always deals critically and constructively with topics to enhance its higher education policy environment,” the adh chairman said. “The feedback from our colleagues is therefore very valuable as we would like to shape the further process creatively together. We do look forward to the ideas of students and full-time staff. It became very clear that our member universities favour a sustainable Universiade concept, which should set new standards for major sports events and generate concrete added value for nationwide university sport.”

At the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade, the women's 100M dash came down to Switzerland, India and Germany taking the podium places

With the support of the university system firmly behind Rhine-Ruhr, adh officials say their focus now turns to coordinating a financial plan with municipalities in the Rhine Ruhr region, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the federal government.


“The strength of the international university sports movement is most evident at the Summer and Winter Universiades. We are always looking forward to hosting this competition in world-class cities that deliver long-lasting legacies for the people of the city, region, and country,” FISU President Oleg Matytsin said. “We know that whoever earns the 2025 Games candidacy will be an exceptional host.” 

German University Sport Federation (adh) officials, sports management professionals and supporters of collegiate sports get together during the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade for a reception in honour of the competing student-athletes