In 2015, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) proposed to UNESCO to internationally recognize a day dedicated to university sport. The proposal was endorsed by UNESCO’s Member States at the 38th session of the General Conference in Paris in November 2015, and 20 September was declared the International Day of University Sport. This date coincides in most countries around the world with the beginning of the academic year, and it is also the date of the first Student World Championships in 1924.
The University of Tehran marked the very first celebration of this International Day with an event co-organized with the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.
Prior to the ceremony, all participants – including the Dean of the University of Tehran, several high-level government officials, the Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, the Director of UNESCO’s Cluster Office, and many university students - were invited to walk around the university grounds to promote the importance of regular exercise.
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, delivered a message of UNESCO’s Director-General, Ms. Irina Bokovo, for this special occasion.
“Dialogue, self-respect and respect for others, fair play and pursuit of excellence are all framing principles of student training. Education and sport need to be at the core of our societies, and this Day provides a forum to highlight the social role of universities and their curricula by making sport available to all and encouraging people to exercise regularly”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.
By devoting one day a year to universities and sport for citizens, the International University Sports Federation (FISU), made up of 167 national university sport federations representing several hundred higher education establishments, aims to draw attention to the key role universities can and must play in order to rise to the challenges of the day, in terms of the acquisition and transmission of knowledge as well as, and above all, social and economic policy at the local, national and international levels.
FISU, thanks to its network of university associations and clubs and the partnerships that it has developed with the principal international educational, cultural and sport institutions since 1949, will mobilize the academic world for this day every 20 September.
For more information, please see: http://www.fisu.net/en/International-Day-of-University-Sport-and-FISU-Festival-4406.html
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