Taipei readying itself for Summer Universiade 2017 success
TAIPEI CITY, CHINESE TAIPEI – With less than a month to go until the start of the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade, FISU and the Taipei Organising Committee are working hard behind the scenes, testing each venue through competitions and simulations to ensure everything is on track for the Opening Ceremony on 19 August.
It is not just the 10,000 athletes competing that have to be at the top of their game, but also the organisers and volunteers that make sure every part of the 29th Summer Universiade runs smoothly. Last month, FISU organised the first Volunteer Leaders Academy, where some of this year’s volunteers attended and they will now have the opportunity to put their skills learned into practice.
Speaking about the simulation exercises, FISU President Oleg Matytsin said that experience from past events is a key component in helping each organising committee.
“We are extremely confident that Taipei will deliver a wonderful Universiade which effectively promotes the FISU vision,” he said. “Simulations and readiness testing is a key part of the way FISU supports its hosts, by passing on lessons learned and maintaining a transfer of knowledge from one organising committee to the next.”
Ahead of all major sporting events, the readiness of each operational area requires testing to ensure its ability to host a multiple day multisport event to the highest standard. Taipei 2017 is no different and Summer Universiade Director, Marc Vandenplas, said that this procedure is an integral part of hosting the Games.
“For every major multi-sport event there are 30-40 functional areas, and we test as many as possible under Universiade-like conditions before the event,” Vandenplas said. “From timing and transport to food and beverage services, we leave nothing to chance. It’s extremely important to coordinate all of these functional areas, especially for the sports participating in the Universiade for the first time.
“The Taipei organising committee has shown a great ability to adapt and they learn very quickly,” Vandenplas added. “Once effective communication is in place between all of the functional areas, that is when we can achieve success.”
Elsewhere in Taipei, finishing touches have already received global attention, as they generate interest across the host country. Updates to the subway system and airports have been put in place in anticipation of the increased tourism expected throughout Chinese Taipei.
A legacy of the 2017 Summer Universiade will be the renovation and refurbishment of many of the Universiade’s venues. Only two have been purpose built and all will remain in the country, benefitting both students and citizens for generations to come. The new Taipei Tennis Center, which contains five indoor and 14 outdoor courts, is expected to be used in future ATP and WTA events and the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium will be an elite-level indoor venue suitable for multiple sports following the conclusion of the Universiade basketball competition.
“One of the most important legacies from Taipei will be the demonstration that major multi-sport events are economically viable for many countries,” Vandenplas added. “The size of the Universiade is second only to the Olympic Games and we have shown that less populous nations can host these games in the future.”
The Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade officially begins on 19 August and runs until 30 August.
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The International University Sports Federation – FISU
Founded in 1949, FISU stands for Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation). FISU was formed within university institutions in order to promote sports values and encourage sports practice in harmony with and complementary to the university spirit. Promoting sports values means encouraging friendship, fraternity, fair-play, perseverance, integrity and cooperation amongst students, who one day may have responsibilities and even key positions in politics, the economy, culture and industry.
Open to student-athletes aged between 17 and 25 (for events in 2016 and 2017 the upper age is still 28), FISU’s events consist of Summer and Winter Universiades and the World University Championships. Universiades are multisport events staged in odd-numbered years, while the World University Championships are single-sport events, staged in even-numbered years. Besides its sporting events, FISU stages educational events, such as the FISU Forum on University Sport, the FISU World Conference on Development through Sport, the FISU World Conference on Innovation - Education - Sport, the FISU Sport Education Summit and the FISU Seminars.
With FISU’s motto being “Excellence in Mind and Body”, all events include educational and cultural aspects, bringing together sport and academia from all over the world to celebrate in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. FISU cooperates in developing its events and programmes with all major international sports and educational organisations. As major outcomes of those collaborations, in 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed the International Day of University Sport to be celebrated on 20 September, and the Anti-Doping Textbook and teaching materials were developed with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
FISU is composed of 170 Member Associations (National University Sports Federations). The FISU General Assembly elects the members of the FISU Executive Committee, its board of directors. Fourteen permanent committees advise the Executive Committee in their specialised areas. For the daily administration of FISU, the FISU Executive Committee relies on the Secretary General, who is assisted by the FISU staff. FISU’s headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.
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