Coimbra, Portugal: July 14-15, 2018
The city of Coimbra is an exceptional place, full of mystic and traditions, with a unique culture and people. Known as the “The City of Knowledge”, Coimbra is a University City, which made it perfect not only to host the 4th European Universities Games, but also the 2018 Rectors’ Conference.
Under the title Organizational and Management Model of University Sport, the event was held on July 14 and 15, focused on university sports and more specifically in how to fund, organize and manage sports activities. The Rectors’ Conference was a perfect opportunity to gather the heads of European universities in order to discuss the state of, as well as options for the development of sports at the universities.
Exchange of ideas, experiences and examples of good practice was one of the main purposes of this event. 85 people attended the event, and amongst rectors, vice-rectors and members from European Sports institutions, a total of 40 universities and institutions was present.
University of Coimbra hosted the event at the historic Great Hall of Acts / Capelos Room, the place where the most important ceremonies of academic life in Coimbra take place.
Opening speeches were given by the President of the European University Sports Association Mr Adam Roczek, the President of the International University Sports Federation Mr Oleg Matytsin, the Secretary of State of Youth and Sport of the Government of Portugal Mr João Paulo Rebelo and the Rector of the University of Coimbra Mr João Gabriel Silva.
A round table on promoting dual career as a key issue for educational system featured representatives of sports, non-governmental and students organisations. Ms Beatriz Gomes from the Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education of the University of Coimbra chaired the session, hosting Ms Lilia Barieva, Director of the International University Sports Federation Education and Development Department, Mr Bill Thompson, Executive Committee Member of the European University Sports Association, Ms Cari Van Senus Chief of staff of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Ms Laura Capranica, President of the European Athlete as Student – The Dual Career Network, Mr Daniel Monteiro, President of the Portuguese University Sports Federation and Mr Alexandre Amado, President of the Student Union of the University of Coimbra.
The final part of the rector’s conference had a plenary session about the constraints and solutions to achieve a sustainable model of university sport, chaired by Mr Carlos Goncalves, Council member of the University of Coimbra.
At first, Ms María Hernández, vice-rector for Degree Studies of the University of Malaga, talked about good practices on the matter, using her own university as an example, explaining how the dynamics work for them. Then, the Vice-Rector of the University of Coimbra Financing, Mr Amílcar Falcão explained how the project in university sport has been developed and how it has grown through simple measures as promoting physical activity in the community and creating competitions between students residences.
To close the session, Mr Yves Le Lostecque, Head of Sports Unit at the European Commission, clarified some financial topics concerning the support of the European Commission and introduced Erasmus+, a framework which can also help promote university sport.
The Rector’s Conference ended with the signature of the Coimbra’s Consensus Statement on Improving Dual Career. The document promotes the notion of the dual career and aims to ensure integration of sportspersons in the labour market at the end of their sporting career, taking into account their academic achievements.
More about the European Universities Games 2018 and the Rectors Conference can be found on the official website www.eug2018.com.