European Universities Games draw to a successful close
The European Universities Games Coimbra 2018 came to an end after 14 days of thrilling action in Portugal.
The Games, held under the flag of the European University Sports Association (EUSA) and hosted by Portuguese University Sport Federation (FADU), City of Coimbra, University of Coimbra, and Academic Association of Coimbra (Academica), brought together over 4,000 participants representing 291 universities from 38 countries across 13 different sports.
Incorporating almost 700 volunteers, the European University Games Coimbra 2018 have been a celebration of sporting excellence, dedication and teamwork, on and off the field. In its structure, EUSA has pioneered a format, where universities compete directly against each other, which is increasingly being emulated around the world.
In his speech at the closing ceremony, EUSA President Adam Roczek said:
“The Games united thousands of people in the name of university sport and made us feel as one family.
“To all the people who contributed to this success; the University of Coimbra, Municipality of Coimbra, Academica and FADU, to the referees, security, media, protocol, catering, medical, sport and the many other services, to my colleagues from the Organising Committee, EUSA Executive Committee, commissions and office I say thank you. Today, you can proudly say we made the greatest European Universities Games ever!”
Alongside the world class sporting competition, the Games also focus on the educational and social aspects of university sport, including conferences and workshops based on the topics of anti-doping, diversity, inclusion and the dual career programme, as well as a well-attended Rectors’ Conference at Coimbra University.
FISU President Oleg Matytsin praised the work of the organisers in creating an event that offered the athletes and spectators more than just sport:
“The European Universities Games in Coimbra has been an enthralling event; from the opening events to the finals, we have seen incredible performances, shock results and amazing feats of athleticism.
“But our role in university sports is to provide educational benefits alongside the brilliant spectacle of sport. Coimbra 2018 has given our volunteers experiences of leadership, delivered informative presentations on practical issues such as anti-doping, and offered advice on how we as sports leaders promote inclusivity. This is the real value of university sport, and I hope that all who have participated over the last two weeks will go on to put their experiences into practice all over the world.”
The European Universities Games is a multisport event engaging athletes from European universities, held every two years, hosted in different university cities across the continent. 2018 marked the fourth edition of the Games, Europe’s largest university sport event of the year and the largest multisport event ever organised in Portugal.
Home to one of the oldest universities in the world, Coimbra itself is a young and vibrant student city, and students from all over the world are choosing to study in Portugal. Lisbon, two hours from Coimbra, ranks 50th in the world for Best Student City and is becoming increasingly attractive to the student population. Lisbon will also become the European Capital of Sport in 2021.
At the end of the closing ceremony, the EUSA flag was brought down and passed to the organising committee of the fifth European Universities Games Belgrade 2020, which will be the second biggest multisport event to be held in Serbia, following the FISU Summer Universiade in 2009.
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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, FISU’s events consist of Summer and Winter Universiades and the World University Championships. Universiades are multi-sport 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 - Education - Sport, 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, 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 sports 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 annually on 20 September, and has seen huge growth in its first two years. As well as this, an Anti-Doping textbook and teaching materials were developed with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
FISU is composed of 174 Member Associations (National University Sports Federations). The FISU General Assembly elects the members of the FISU Executive Committee, its board of directors. A total of 14 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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