May 28, 2023 | at the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy
FISU recently organized the first part of the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy (FVLA) on June 23 with participants from over 70 countries. Welcome remarks by Acting FISU President, Leonz Eder, began, followed by an introduction to new FVLA participants from around the world, an overview of FISU’s background and history, and major projects completed by the FISU Student Ambassadors during the 2022-2023 season.
FISU Student Ambassadors, a program first launched in 2018, connects FISU with global student communities to support university sports initiatives in these regions while developing the next generation of university sports leaders. An important part of the program are local projects undertaken by ambassadors for the development of university sport in their country. These projects not only help bring their learning from the FVLA and FISU Student Ambassador program to life, but also bring tangible global growth to the university sports movement.
Then the three student ambassadors presented their projects. The first was the founder and president of the NGO Medlife Lebanon, Karim Harik, who was the first to talk about the work he and his organization did to distribute the water for the international marathon held in Lebanon, while encouraging all participants to work during their races. He was also a panelist at the FISU World Forum in Costa Rica in December 2022, where he presented his knowledge and point of view on physical and mental health.
Korean Min Joo Kim followed and outlined her role as a supporter of the successful Korean bid Chungcheong Megacity to host the 2027 FISU Games and how she also participated in the FISU World Forum in Costa Rica. She continued the year by participating in the internship program at the January 2023 FISU Games in Lake Placid, where she performed several roles, including supporting operations in one of the athletes’ villages. The FISU Academy in Korea was another project in which she helped develop and in which she participated. Held on June 24, it gave young sports leaders the opportunity to learn and meet others who want to develop college sports in Korea.
At the end of her presentation, she emphasized to the participants the value and potential of the FISU Student Ambassador Program. “At the beginning of my ambassador year, I had no idea what I was going to do, but I experienced so much and I am very grateful to the program. So trust yourself and trust the process. And if you’re willing to devote your time and passion to an ambassador, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of different ones opportunities and you will find that you will grow a lot because in two years I definitely feel like I have grown a lot.”
Finally, Lena Seiller from Liechtenstein talked about the 5K Mud Race project she developed with three other ambassadors. This project outlined how such an event could take place, its goals and steps to make it happen. This was presented to FISU leaders and other ambassadors and, she said, provided all members of the project team with valuable experience and feedback in developing and planning the event.
These three young leaders of college sport provide an insight into all the great work done by ambassadors around the world and the importance of the FVLA. This a new set of FVLA participants they now have the potential to create their own projects and legacy to support the development of sport in their countries. Their learning opportunities will continue during the second part of the FVLA, which will take place on September 7-9.