We do not let university students down during pandemic!

Following the opening ceremony on Wednesday, the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) first virtual World Forum continued on Thursday with a number of interesting programmes including parallels, roundtable discussions and the eSport championships.

Eric Saintrond: We do not let university students down during pandemic!

As reported earlier, following the opening ceremony, the 2020 FISU World Forum started in Budapest on Wednesday. Due to the pandemic, the Forum, which is the second biggest university sport event in the world, is staged online for the first time. FISU representatives and the organizers were delighted however that this year’s Forum has had the most attendees ever in FISU’s history.

On the second day, Challenges in University Sport was in the centre of discussions. Participants involved approached the topic from the point of view of digitalisation, university ranking and Covid-19. In response to the harm caused by the pandemic, FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond said the following.

‘Covid-19 has completely destroyed our real time and place events this year. Therefore we have been forced to go online with our operations including technical meetings and discussions. The eSports challenge organised by FISU this summer was a great success, and the Mind Sports World Championships that was planned to have been held in Poland will be staged online. We do not let university students down in any sense and we intend to help them do as much physical activity as possible’ he said.   

It was also mentioned that FISU and universities all around the world are socially responsible for students, their state of health and their physical activity.    

Following the section, issues about University Sport and Health were discussed within the frame of a roundtable discussion. During the debate, rector of Semmelweis University (SU), Hungary Dr. Béla Merkely emphasized that sport medicine has been made mandatory at all faculties at SU this year with the aim of stressing the importance of healthy university life, while Executive Director of NIRSA Pam Watts emphasized the social aspects of university sport adding that to involve 5 percent of the university students in any sport can already be considered a great success.  

The parallel workshops kicked off at 15:30 (CET) where themes such FISU branding, International Day of University Sport, University Ranking and Healthy Campus were considered.

After all day’s hard work, it was time to have a bit of a fun with the fixtures continuing in digital chess and fifa 20. Participants were able to test their knowledge on FISU and university sport in the quiz game and the Virtual Expo also opened its gate. The platform of the expo was designed in 3D, which makes it an absolute fun and joy to look at. Visitors can wonder around the virtual halls and rooms where they can see FISU representatives’ presentations, posters displaying the courses run at the University of Physical Education, innovations on sport digitalisation, companies acting in this area, applications supporting different physical activities, universities and institutions active in university sport.

Friday is the final day of the 2020 World Forum but there is still a lot to come.

photo: fisu.net

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