What’s Up: FISU Student Committee celebrates IDUS

What’s Up: FISU Student Committee celebrates IDUS

In this month’s What’s Up Student Column, FISU Student Committee member and Economics student Joshua Miethke discusses the unique circumstances around this year’s International Day of University Sport.

This year, the fifth anniversary of the International Day of University Sport (IDUS) on September 20 was marked by very special circumstances. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, very few physical celebrations were possible, but the university sports world responded and shifted its activities to the virtual world, making it possible to celebrate the day with the global community.

When I first came into contact with the International Day of University Sports in 2018 during the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy in Kazan, I could hardly imagine anything about it. But that changed over the last two years.

From my perspective, FISU has found and created a long-awaited platform to present its values, its vision and mission to the leaders of the global sports movement, but above all to its main target group - (soon to be) sports enthusiastic students. 

The real value of IDUS, however, only becomes apparent when one considers the variety of celebrations worldwide. In ‘normal’ times, the range of events includes National University Sports Championships, conferences, sports festivals and educational events highlighting the work of FISU, the Continental and National University Sports Federation and the University Sports Services on campus.

IDUS 2020 banner

Due to this already-existing variety of celebrations, the worldwide university sports community was able to organise a number of celebrations this year as well. Proving most helpful in this unprecedented situation was the flexibility of the guidelines provided by FISU and their suitability for adaptation.

As the newly appointed FISU Student Committee, the circumstances and the opportunity presented itself to organise our first activity: hosting a one-and-a-half-hour meeting for interested students and representatives of the member federations.

As we are still relatively unknown to the many students in the CUSFs and NUSFs, it was important for us to introduce ourselves and our work to them.  We were also lucky to have the responsible FISU Development & NUSF Relationship Manager Tarmo Jaakson with us, who could give the participants an introduction to the history of the IDUS followed by a workshop on how to organise your own IDUS celebrations, given by one of our members Viktor Kiss.

IDUS student meeting online

The meeting concluded with a valuable lesson from another FISU Student Committee member Mercy Lakisa on how the FASU, the African Continental University Sports Federation, includes students in their governance structures, leading to a discussion about student participation in university sports.

Students were not the only participants in our first event. Besides our chair Emiliano Ojea, one of FISUs Executive Committee members and president of the Argentinian NUSF, we were delighted that Eric Saintrond, Secretary General of FISU, attended our celebrations and expressed his support.

Looking back, IDUS offered a good first opportunity to not only draw attention to the Student Committee, but to establish ourselves. I look forward to experiencing some more great moments and activities on 20 September for many years to come.

What this year's IDUS in particular has shown is that every student can do something on 20 September to celebrate the day, whether that’s participating in a digital campus run of your NUSF or your university, organising your own online meeting or taking part in one of the many social media challenges. The important thing is to celebrate the day and the values associated with it.

Are you a student with an opinion? We are looking for new contributors for our student column every month. Feel free to contact stc@eusa.eu to offer a piece or propose a topic.