FISU Forum 2016, Team GBR Review 20/07/2016
The FISU Forum is a biennial gathering of students and staff involved in university sport from around the world. The Forum offers delegates from all nations the opportunity to compare the university sport programmes and provision within different countries, as well as to discuss the role of FISU and its sporting programme.
The 13th FISU Forum took place earlier this month in Montpellier, France with over 50 countries across all continents in attendance.
Great Britain have attended the previous nine forums and this year were represented by: Matt Nicholson (student delegate, VP Sport, Nottingham Trent University),Kiri Madhani (student delegate, BUCS Intern), Chris Purdie (staff delegate, Sports Development Coordinator, Stirling University) and Amy Seaman (staff delegate, Sport Development Manager, BUCS).
There was also further Great Britain representation in the form of Bill Thompson, Head of Sport at City University London who has previously attended the Forum and is on the Executive Committee of EUSA and Jordan Kenny from the University of Bath who is a member on the FISU Student Committee.
The main theme of this year’s Forum was 'University and Sport: from the origins towards the future of university sport.'
Each day contains conference-style discussions, workshops and presentations based on the following sub themes: Values, Ethics & Integrity, Anti-Doping, Leadership, Volunteering, Gender Equality, Dual Career.
The quality of speakers was high with representatives from the European Commission, World Anti-Doping Agency, UNESCO, Eurosport, French Fencing Federation, EAS Network, JTA (International relations and communication agency whose clients have included European Olympic Committees) in attendance. Presentations from the FISU Forum are now available to view from here.
To view the FISU Forum booklet which includes information on all speakers and details of the sub themes click here.
A key aspect over the course of the week was the FISU Forum Fair; a unique occasion of sharing ideas, cultures and traditions, with each country having their own stand to promote their activity. Team GBR based their stand on the sub-themes of the Forum that tied in nicely with the ever expanding BUCS #TakeAStand campaign. National Federations were encouraged to make a pledge on what area of anti-social behaviour they would like to specifically focus on; all pledges were captured on a polaroid and placed on a world map. With 20 pledges made from all continents of the world, the #TakeAStand campaign and message has well and truly gone global.
The Forum had a real focus on developing students and the student representatives in attendance were tasked with working in small groups to present at the end of the forum on one of two topics: Gender equality or International Day of University Sport (IDUS). The two GB student representatives, led their respective teams during both the planning and presenting phases, getting positive feedback from the FISU committee members in attendance.
The week also included cultural excursions which involved a visit to the beach in La Grande Motte for a beach volleyball tournament, a visit to the European centre for research and innovation in the science of movement. This was followed by a presentation of the International Handball Federation delivered by Technical Delegate and Executive Committee member Frantisek Taborsky, finishing with a handball practical session.
The GB Team put together a short video to highlight their week at the FISU Forum in Montpellier, to view the video click here.
Hear what the GB delegation had to say following their return from Montpellier:
"The FISU Forum gave me an invaluable opportunity to network and take learnings from like-minded people, within HE Sport sector, internationally. The week encouraged interaction and sharing of best practice alongside hosting thought provoking presentations that sparked in depth discussion around key topics effecting sport. For me, only a couple of years into my career, it provided an insight into the opportunities provided by other organisations and highlighted our strengths and weaknesses in the UK. I left the forum not only with a newly established network of peers, but with the motivation to drive change in specific areas of university sport such as gender equality, workforce development and sport governance." [Kiri Madhani]
“It was an amazing experience, networking and learning from some of the most powerful people in university sport. I had the chance to present ideas and debate issues on an international level for which I am humbled to have had the opportunity. I've made some great friends and it has only further fuelled my passion and commitment to be the best advocate for university sport I can be." [Matt Nicholson]
"The FISU Forum was a once in a lifetime opportunity- it was a great platform to meet other individuals from different counties and understand the dynamics of student sport in their home country. Being part of the British delegation has allowed me to further my knowledge in student sport and have I been able to network with various different people which hopefully will develop into sports partners. I would like to thank BUCS for an unforgettable experience which I have strongly believe has added to my continued development." [Chris Purdie]
"It was an absolute privilege to represent GB at the 13th FISU Forum. The Forum provided a unique opportunity to get a global perspective on university sport and hear some great speakers talk on topics that are very much relevant to HE sport in the UK, such as leadership and volunteering. The break out sessions offered a platform to share best practice and challenges with other countries on the six sub themes. A theme which was a prominent issue for many countries was on gender equality, a number of ideas were shared on how we can collectively work together to combat this. One of the biggest things I will take away from the week is the networking opportunities it gave me to meet so many like minded people from across the world, all driven by the same vision to improve provisions for university student sport."[Amy Seaman]
The 14th FISU Forum will take place Krasnoyarsk, Russia In August 2018