DiscoverU project starts

DiscoverU project starts

During the European Universities Winter Championships and EUSA Forum, hosted in the Italian Dolomites - in Val di Zoldo, partners of the Discovering university sport and supporting dual career (DiscoverU) also held their kickoff meeting.

The project is lead by the EUSA Institute, and brings together two NGOs; besides EUSA, also the European Athlete as Student network (EAS), national university sport bodies from Croatia (CASF/HASS), Hungary (HUSF/MEFS) and Poland (AZS), as well as the University of Salerno.

The 3-year project will aim to improve sport and physical activity opportunities for students in higher education on one hand, addressing larger student population; and at the same time promote and support dual career in higher education in partnering countries. This will be achieved by gathering information, sharing good practice examples and implementation of sports and educational activities.

Partners were invited to the General Technical Meeting of the European Universities Winter Championships and the official Opening Ceremony of the event on December 18, followed by the EUSA Winter Forum and #BeActive sports programme on the following day.

On December 20, the main part of the project meeting was held. The meeting started with welcome by the main project manager Andrej Pisl and EUSA Vice-President Joerg Foerster.

Representatives of the partners then introduced each others, and had a presentation of the organisations taking part in the project. EUSA and its Institute were the first to be presented, highlighting the activities and success of the organisation. EUSA pillars are the sporting events – the European Universities Games, European Universities Championships and EUSA Patronage events; educational events – Conferences, Seminars, Forums, Workshops; and activities in the field of social responsibility and projects – including the Development fund, EU and FISU-funded initiatives.

European Athlete as Student (EAS) – the Dual Career Network and the was presented by its President Laura Capranica, also mentioning the importance of cooperations and supporting dual career athletes and sport professionals.

Croatian Academic Sports Federation (CASF/HASS) was presented by Ilona Matijevic. Apart of the existing achievements of the organisation, the Unisport brand and main principles of the ongoing activities, she also shared their strategic plan and aims.

Marianna Pikul from the University Sports Association of Poland (AZS) presented a wide array of activities and projects held under the umbrella of AZS. Poland, with AZS being one of the key partners, hosted the last edition of the European Universities Games, held in July 2022 in Lodz.

The history and activities of the Hungarian University Sports Federation (HUSF/MEFS) was presented by Szabolc Biro, who is also the Managing Director of the upcoming European Universities Games Debrecen-Miskolc 2024. He stressed that the Games next year will be one of the largest sports events in Hungary ever, and invited the partners to attend the event in 2024.

The introductions of the partners concluded with the presentation by Francis Cirianni, who on behalf of the University of Salerno shared the main characteristics and information about the university, its campuses and relation to sport. Apart of being a co-host of the 2019 Summer Universiade, now known as the Summer University Games, the University of Salerno is one of the key partners in hosting the European Universities Games in Salerno in 2026.

Project plans, timelines and commitments were then presented, with the participants reviewing their roles and responsibilities, as well as proposing some adjustments in the delivery plan of the project.

Although competitive university sport is not the priority of the project, it is worth noting that the consortium includes hosts of four European Universities Games: 2016 Zagreb-Rijeka (CRO), 2022 Lodz (POL), 2024 Debrecen-Miskolc (HUN) and 2026 Salerno (ITA); with activities to be held in all partner countries, including the next two upcoming editions next year and in 2026.

DiscoverU is co-funded by the European Union. Stay tuned for more information!

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