The 38th General Assembly of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) concluded successfully in Geneva on November 18, following two days of deliberations and discussions on a variety of key issues.
On the first day of the assembly, FISU Acting President Leonz Eder set an optimistic tone, stating, “We are now stronger and more unified than ever, fully prepared to confront any challenges that may come our way, all while continuing to expand our efforts for FISU, its members, and students worldwide.”
The assembly witnessed notable contributions from various dignitaries, including Mathias Remund, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Sport the Former four-time Universiade participan, who emphasized the importance of sports during studies. FISU Secretary General and CEO Éric Saintrond stressed the unity and diversity of FISU, advocating for putting the interest of the group before individual interests.
A poignant moment came as Éric Saintrond received a standing ovation for his last participation in a FISU General Assembly as FISU SG/CEO. He is set to retire in early 2025. The assembly also paid tribute to Roch Campana, FISU Secretary General Emeritus, with an emotional speech from his sister, Corinne Campana.
The Qatar Collegiate Sports Federation joined FISU as a new member, following their successful organization of the FISU University World Cup 3×3 Basketball. The 8th FISU Gender Equality Awards honored Ms Samar Judah Mousa and the Portuguese Academic Federation of University Sport for their outstanding project “Challenge the Numbers!”.
On the second day of the assembly, Leonz Eder was unanimously elected as the FISU President for the next four years. Addressing the assembly, President Eder expressed his honor and commitment, stating, “I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to continue to guide the university sport community in the exciting times that lie ahead.”
The newly elected Executive Committee, reflecting FISU’s commitment to gender equality, includes three women candidates as vice presidents from different continents. The composition of the entire FISU Executive Committee, with the mandate 2023-2027 is as follows:
President: Leonz Eder (SUI)
First Vice-President: Luciano Atayde da Costa Cabral (BRA)
Vice Presidents: Jin Liu (CHN), Penninah Kabenge (UGA), Verena Burk (GER), Marian Dymalski (POL)
Treasurer: Bayasgalan Danzandorj (MGL)
Senior Executive Committee Member: Martin Doulton (AUS)
Executive Committee Members: Daichi Suzuki (JPN), Hosung Chang (KOR), Rosaura Mendez Gamboa (CRC), Lorenzo Lentini (ITA), Marko Zunic (CRO), Emiliano Ojea (ARG), Delise O’Meally (USA), Duarte Lopes (POR), Ching-Yu Tseng (TPE), Sami Garabedian (LBN), Ali Massari Al Dhaheri (UAE), Mehmet Gunay (TUR), Agnes Ancic-Valkai (HUN), Cheng Fave See Tow (SGP), Nomsa Mahlangu (RSA)
The committee is set to lead FISU through an exciting period with upcoming events including the winter and summer editions of Torino 2025 and Rhine-Ruhr 2025, followed by Chungcheong 2027 and North Carolina 2029. These host cities presented comprehensive updates on their preparations during the General Assembly.
The assembly also marked the announcement of Éric Saintrond’s retirement in 2025, with a standing ovation in recognition of his dedication to FISU. He paid tribute to his late friend Roch Campana during his farewell address.
In addition, the assembly commemorated the loss of two esteemed members of the university sports community, Aleksander Ronikier, Honorary Member of the Executive Committee from 1987 to 1995, and Mark Tennant, who dedicated his service as Chair of the FISU Volleyball International Technical Committee from 1983 to 2015. The event concluded with the approval of reports, budgets, and the discharge of the Executive Committee for the period 2019-2023.
As FISU looks ahead to its 75th anniversary, the newly elected leadership aims to continue serving university students worldwide, providing them with sporting opportunities and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The assembly showcased the unity, diversity, and resilience of FISU in navigating challenges and shaping the future of university sports.