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The World University Games double prize demonstrates the value of sport in recovering from a pandemic

As campuses have experienced prolonged closures, the pandemic has had a severe impact on life college and college sports. Yet despite this, the future of international college sport looks promising. From the inspiration of indoor athletes during the first run-ins to studies that noted a decrease in activity in our children, the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of sport and physical activity in the very fabric of our society. It has reminded us of the need to always fight for a healthier and more active society for the future


Here at the International Federation of University Sports (FISU), we have accepted this need not only to recover from the challenges of the past year, but to rebuild better, ensuring the future of the university sports movement. We have continued to implement our Global Strategy 2027 with a relentless focus so that we can help today's students become active members of our global society, shaped in part through their experiences in international college sport.

The 2025 Dual Attribution The summer and winter edition of the FISU World University Games in the Rhine-Ruhr, Germany and Turin, Italy, respectively, is clear evidence of securing this future. The successful offers were incredibly strong. Their ability to combine sport, education and culture was perfectly aligned with the spirit of the FISU Games. But in the current context, we have had to be extremely diligent to refine our value proposition for potential hosts.

Rhine-Ruhr to host the World University Summer Games in 2025 © Land NRW / Bowinkelmann

We have learned that in order for a social legacy to be forged, it is also FISU's responsibility to allow this to materialize in all steps of our attribution process, as well as during and after the event. . The tangible benefits of hosting must be clearly stated. That is why we have adopted a model that prioritizes a profitable, sustainable and legacy-based approach, while adapting to the specific resources and needs of our city partners. Thanks to this approach, we have been able to ensure that the flagship event for collegiate sports remains a valuable and attractive proposition for a wide range of cities.

We only have to look back at Naples and Krasnoyarsk, our 2019 summer and winter hosts respectively, to see the enormous potential of the FISU World University Games to leave bright and varied legacies. In Krasnoyarsk, the venues now host local teams and families. In Naples, meanwhile, the FISU Games revived the oldest landmarks, along with the sustainable revival of sports culture among the region's youth.

And we have no doubt that both Chengdu and Lucerne will have the same great impact in their own way. Looking ahead, Ekaterinburg and Lake Placid 2023, as well as Rhine-Ruhr and Turin 2025, will undoubtedly demonstrate how the legacies can be extended. Meanwhile, this legacy-driven approach has helped secure even more interest in the future, with a wide variety of cities already expressing interest in the 2027 and 2029 editions of the FISU World University Games.

It is an old adage that change is the only constant and we also recognize the importance of never slowing down our efforts. Our response to the campus closure has been to redouble our efforts to ensure that universities are platforms for teaching healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

FISU's Healthy Campus program will also be key to revitalizing active campuses, and we are excited to now take advantage of the 73 universities in 37 countries that are already on track to achieve official certification.

Now more than ever, sport and physical activity must play a role in building a healthier and more active society in our recovery. of the pandemic. In the future, we will need leaders who remain committed to keeping sport and physical activity at the heart of our societies. Universities are the place where these characters will be forged. FISU and its members will continue to do everything possible to maintain universities as sports venues and we are very grateful to our host cities for the vital role they play.

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