FISU Executive Committee meets in Lausanne
The new FISU Executive Committee members, elected in November 2019, convened for their first meeting on 21-22 February, to set the agenda for 2020 and beyond.
FISU President Oleg Matytsin opened the first FISU Executive Committee meeting of the newly elected members. Matytsin, recently appointed Russian Minister of Sport, welcomed the new members and expressed regret that some colleagues were not able to join the meeting due to the coronavirus outbreak.
FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond then presented his report, starting with the new FISU visual identity. The Secretary General’s report included major contracts that FISU has signed with Eurosport, Sport ID and the International Testing Agency.
“The International Testing Agency will allow us to better manage our doping control efforts to ensure clean sport across university sports events,” Saintrond said.
The 2020-2023 partnership with Eurosport will include television coverage of FISU sports events, starting with the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade and continuing through the FISU World University Games in Chengdu 2021, Ekaterinburg 2023 and Lake Placid 2023. The collaboration will also include digital advertising and activation, livestreaming and video on demand and a global presence of university sports on Eurosport's digital channels.
Head-first into FISU’s digital transformation Looking to the future, FISU is building a highly secure and mobile-friendly bespoke platform for games service and membership management. The project was presented by FISU Director General, Paulo Ferreira.
“This is a significant project that touches on all the departments of FISU’s work,” said Ferreira. “This is an innovative approach taken by FISU.”
Developments on the sports front
Ju-Jitsu, Armwrestling and Bodybuilding & Fitness were presented to Executive Committee for approval as FISU Recognised Sports and all three sports passed unanimously.
World University Championships International Technical Committee Chair Marian Dymalski led the progress report on the 29 Championships lined up for the 2020 season. Three new countries – Morocco, Argentina and Ukraine – have joined the FISU hosting family this year.
For the 2022 and 2024 World University Championship seasons, majority of the attributions have already been made, while the few pending bids are in varying states of progress.
To avoid a clash with the global football season, the next edition of the University World Cup - Football will be held from 2-13 June 2021, in Jinjiang, People’s Republic of China. Rugby Sevens will also be organised as a University World Cup with the same format as football, from 2022 onwards.
Education through sport
The next FISU World Conference will take place during the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade, and will focus on dual career, digitalisation and women competing in elite sport. The FISU World Conference at Chengdu 2021 will centre on student development through sport and enhancing legacy impacts of major sports events.
Attribution for the 2022 FISU World Forum took place during the EC meeting, with FISU Senior Executive Committee member Dr. Verena Burk presenting the candidatures of the four finalists: Rio de Janeiro (BRA), Cartago (CRC), Split (CRO), and Valencia (ESP). The FISU Executive Committee voted unanimously to host the event in Cartago, Costa Rica. The 2022 FISU World Forum will thus mark the first FISU event ever to be held in Costa Rica. Slated to run from 4-9 April, the Forum will be followed by the 2022 WUC Cycling event in Costa Rica.
Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade
The 30th Winter Universiade Managing Director Urs Henkeler opened the second day of the Executive Committee meeting with the penultimate progress report of Lucerne 2021, to be held in Central Switzerland from 21-31 January 2021.
The Lucerne 2021 event will rely solely on existing high-quality venues, with some renovations and upgradations. At the alpine ski venue of Stoos this could include the installation of floodlights for the Parallel Mixed Team Event.
“Mark the 30th of January on your calendars now,” said Lucerne 2021 FISU Relations Director, Regula Schweizer. “If this Parallel Mixed Team Event takes place at night under floodlights, this will be a can’t-miss event.”
Chengdu 2021 Summer World University Games
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the progress report of Chengdu 2021 World University Games was presented on behalf of the Organising Committee by Marc Vandenplas, Director of the Summer World University Games department and his team. Vandenplas said the general overview of the preparations was positive.
“The fact that the Games have the full support of the State Council of China, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sport and the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) means that we are not concerned about the venue readiness or level of services,” said Vandenplas.
The originally planned dates of 8-19 August 2021 will be revised to 16-27 August, pending approval from the highest authorities in the People’s Republic of China.
Lake Placid 2023 Winter World University Games
FISU EC Member Delise O'Meally and Ashley Walden of the Lake Placid 2023 OC presented their first official progress report to the FISU Executive.
“Welcome to New York. Since 1993, we have been waiting for you,” said Former Universiade competitor O’Meally in her address, a nod to the 1993 Summer World University Games and the 1973 Winter World University Games. Lake Placid also enjoys the legacy of the 1980 Winter Olympics and six Olympic venues will be 2023 competition venues, after renovations.
The request to add Long Track Speed Skating, Nordic Combine, and Ski Jumping as the three optional events to the Winter WUG 2023 programme was unanimously approved.
Ekaterinburg 2023 Summer World University Games
Alexander Chernov, CEO of Ekaterinburg 2023 updated the FISU Executive Committee on the progress the masterplan, budgetary planning and workforce planning for the Summer World University Games 2023.
“We have had three inspection visits so far,” Chernov continued, commenting on the ongoing collaboration with the FISU World University Games department. “We have revised and adjusted some of our plans accordingly and have already submitted the first draft of the masterplan at the end of 2019.”
The summary of the venues was also presented, with 24 out of 33 venues being existing ones for which renovation plans are ready.
For the first time at an Executive Committee meeting, FISU held three round table events centred around three pressing issues in the world of sport: sustainable development, ethics and government, and university relations. The groups will now go from the drawing board into the first steps of action that the university sports movement should take to enhance its activity in all three areas.
“As a committee we’ve taken a small but significant step today,” said FISU President Oleg Matytsin in his concluding address. “We are a strategic entity, not just an advisory body. We have to look to the future, and must do so, with a strategic view.”