Home University Sports FISU America’s Fourth Strategic Dialogue: a landmark gathering for University Sports

FISU America’s Fourth Strategic Dialogue: a landmark gathering for University Sports

FISU America's Fourth Strategic Dialogue: a landmark gathering for University Sports

11 October 2023 | in CUSF News

FISU America’s Fourth Strategic Dialogue: a landmark gathering for University Sports

The fourth strategic dialogue between FISU and FISU America took place in Joinville (Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil), coiniding with the Brazilian University Games (JUBS, photo above), a remarkable gathering of more than 5,000 participants in 21 sports.


Alim Maluf Neto, President of FISU America, opened the inaugural session of the Strategic Dialogue and underlined the unique evolution of university sports on the American continent over the past years. “The crucial cooperation between FISU and FISU America resulted in an impressive increase of both the quantity and quality of sport events in the region,” he said.


Luciano Cabral, President of the Brazilian Confederation of University Sports (CBDU), was delighted by the strategic dialogue’s success and the presence of delegates from 15 countries. He stressed the importance of the discussions held on the occasion of the JUBS, CBDU’s flagship event. 


In his presentation, FISU Acting President Leonz Eder lauded the “resilience and intelligence that FISU showed during the challenging times that followed the COVID-19 pandemic”. He praised FISU’s current initiatives, its comprehensive sports programmes, developmental and educational activities and overall goal to strengthen international university sports. He also announced a comprehensive report on FISU’s past four years for the upcoming General Assembly in November. Leonz Eder extended his gratitude to the continental Confederations and National University Sports Federations for their invaluable contributions to the promotion of university sports under FISU’s motto “excellence in mind and body.”


David Schmude and Adam Roczek, respectively presidents of FISU Oceania and the European University Sports Association (EUSA), presented projects under development and discussed the challenges facing their organizations. Even online, this international presence underscored the global reach and interconnectedness of university sports.


Fernando Parente, Director of Development and Healthy Campus at FISU, Gerardo Corrales, Sports Coordinator at FISU America, and Liu Jin, Vice President of the University Sports Federation of China, also spoke about their respective initiatives and challenges, showing the diverse facets of international university sports.


Finally, Rosaura Mendez, Chair of the FISU Gender Equality Commission, shared findings from a study that highlights the pressing need for strategies aimed at promoting the active involvement and decision-making of women in university sports. The study also emphasizes the necessity to empower women at all levels, from grassroots organizations to leadership positions, and to further commit to gender equality in university sports.


On the final day of the meeting, Luciano Cabral unveiled the creation of a postgraduate course in University Sports Management, primarily designed for those responsible for State University Sport Federations of Brazil. Offered online, without registration and at no costs, the course will be developed in partnership with the State University of Paraná, inspired by the International Olympic Committee’s MEMOS programme. This initiative sets the stage for future courses in Spanish, a prospect that may come to fruition in the next FISU-FISU America strategic dialogue. Following Luciano Cabral’s announcement, the inaugural class of the CBDU master’s degree featured an address by academic leader Fernando Marinho Mezzadri.


The remaining interventions focused on various aspects and realities of university sport such as the organization of university sports in Africa (Nomsa Mahlangu, University Sport South Africa, USSA), dual career (Emiliano Ojea, Federation of University Sports of Argentina, FEDUA), structure and way of working of Mexican University Sports, Manuel Merodio and Jorge Lagarda (National Council of Sport and Education A.C.,CONDDE), governance of university sports – the case of Costa Rica, (Gerardo Corrales, University Sports Federation of Costa Rica, FedeU), and ASCUNDAF, an experience of collaborative work in Colombia (Fred Asprilla, ASCUN – Deporte y Atividade Física).


Photo credits: Saul Cruz

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