What's up: Opportunities for young leaders in university sport

What's up: Opportunities for young leaders in university sport

At the end of summer, we look into some of the opportunities for young leaders in university sport, available through the European University Sports Association (EUSA) and the International University Sports Federation (FISU), as experienced by one participant.

I decided to take part in the FISU Forum 2018 in Krasnoyarsk, because in organising the Forum in Montpellier two years ago, I saw the happiness in the participants’ eyes, and wanted to experience the same. After being a part of the first Volunteer Leaders’ Academy in Kazan in 2017, I realized how lucky I was to be able to share experiences with others from different countries and cultures.

At the FISU Forum in Montpellier

During that time, I realized it is not because you are a “developed” country that the volunteering program is better. We could definitely see that small countries are the ones that try to involve students and young people in events and sports in order to develop the activities within the country.

At the European Universities Games 2018 in Coimbra (EUG2018)

Therefore, when the opportunity arose, I applied for the European Universities Games 2018 in Coimbra, Portugal. I wanted to witness the backstage of a major organised event, as well as gain more experience. I wanted to be able to use this knowledge for my federation, my future job, and also in my daily life. Moreover, I also met students and volunteers from all over the world and talk about their experiences in similar events. It was such a good experience and I learned so much from different people. Also, the way the events are organised depends on countries, on culture and on the popularity of university sports in the country. To be honest, Coimbra 2018 motivate me to organise an international event in my home town, Montpellier. After learning all I could from EUSA, I joined the FISU Forum in Krasnoyarsk in order to represent my country, and I am beyond grateful for everything I learned from them as well. We also had the chance to visit the places where the Winter Universiade will take place. I can tell you, it is going to be grandiose.

At the FISU Forum in Krasnoyarsk

I could also see how connected all these events are, and how hard we need to work on different topics, whether it is for a sporting or educational event. Gender equality, anti-doping and harassment are subjects that are important for every event, in every moment of life. I also witnessed the backstage of the organisation of the next Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk. I had the chance to meet the Organising Committee and talk about how they could improve the event and involve more countries in such big sport event. Organising a European event or an international event isn’t very different. It is the culture of the country that define how they will build it and what kind of legacy they want to create.

I would recommend everyone to join EUSA and FISU events in order to gain experience, meet people and learn from them, but also to spread our love for University Sports around the world! In each event I could feel my voice matters. I learned a lot from others, they learned from my experience and this way, working together, I am sure we can create a memorable experience for the volunteers, the spectators and everyone involved in University sport.

Cecile Chaumard

The author Cecile Chaumard studies Marketing at the Montpellier Management Institute.

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.