FISU Celebrates First International Day of University Sport
Lausanne; 20 September 2016: Today the International University Sports Federation (FISU) is celebrating the first ever UNESCO-proclaimed International Day of University Sport, as students around the globe take part in special activities organised by National University Sport Federations (NUSFs) and universities.
The annual event focuses on promoting the role universities play in promoting sport worldwide and the all-round educational benefit of physical activity.
As part of the celebrations, NUSFs are working with partners such as higher educational institutions, national sport federations, ministries of sport and education, National Olympic Committees and city-sport authorities to stage inclusive sporting, educational and cultural events on university campuses.
“FISU is extremely proud that UNESCO has proclaimed 20 September to be the International Day of University Sport. This is a huge step forward as we look to reinforce the role sport plays in higher education, using its values of integration and cooperation to complement the learning that takes place in lecture halls. It is this powerful combination that will help create our future leaders.
“By making 20 September a day dedicated to university sport, I hope we never lose sight of sport’s incredible potential to help shape young people in becoming well-rounded and socially responsible citizens” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin.
Events taking place to celebrate the International Day of University Sport include a campus run at Yangzhou University in the People’s Republic of China, a cheerleading contest at Université de Reims in France and student competitions at more than 50 universities in Russia. “Lausanne in Motion”, FISU’s existing International University Sport Festival taking place on 24 September, has also provided inspiration for two other similar Festivals in Melbourne, Australia, and in Oslo, Norway. Overall more than 50 countries across five continents are joining FISU and UNESCO in celebrating the inaugural International Day of University Sport including Madagascar, South Africa, Argentina, Cuba, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Israel, Nepal, Hungary, Switzerland and the Russian Federation.
“University sport has a very special place in the sporting world as a vector of human, social and civic values, fully integrated into the education of today’s and tomorrow’s citizens,” said Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova.
“By putting sport at the heart of dialogue between teachers and students, this first International Day of University Sport, celebrated by UNESCO and the International University Sports Federation, aims to promote these values among young adults and, through them, to society as a whole.
“Dialogue, self-respect and respect for others, fair play and pursuit of excellence are all framing principles of student training. Education and sport need to be at the core of our societies, and this Day provides a forum to highlight the social role of universities and their curricula by making sport available to all and encouraging people to exercise regularly.”
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The International University Sports Federation – FISU
Founded in 1949, FISU stands for Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation). FISU was formed within university institutions in order to promote sports values and encourage sports practice in harmony with and complementary to the university spirit. Promoting sports values means encouraging friendship, fraternity, fair-play, perseverance, integrity and cooperation amongst students, who one day may have responsibilities and even key positions in politics, the economy, culture and industry.
Open to student-athletes aged between 17 and 25 (for events in 2016 and 2017 the upper age is still 28), FISU’s events consist of Summer and Winter Universiades and the World University Championships. Universiades are multisport events staged in odd-numbered years, while the World University Championships are single-sport events, staged in even-numbered years. Besides its sporting events, FISU stages educational events, such as the FISU Forum on University Sport, the FISU World Conference on Development through Sport, the FISU World Conference on Innovation- EducationSport, the FISU Sport Education Summit and the FISU Seminars.
With FISU’s motto being “Excellence in Mind and Body”, all events include educational and cultural aspects into sports competitions, bringing together sport and academia from all over the world to celebrate in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. FISU cooperates in developing its events and programmes with all major international sport and educational organisations. As major outcomes of those collaborations, in 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed the International Day of University Sport to be celebrated on September 20, and the Anti-Doping Textbook and teaching materials were developed with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
FISU is composed of 170 Member Associations (National University Sports Federations). The FISU General Assembly elects the members of the FISU Executive Committee, its board of directors. Fourteen permanent committees advise the Executive Committee in their specialised areas. For the daily administration of FISU, the FISU Executive Committee relies on the Secretary General, who is assisted by the FISU staff. FISU’s headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.
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