Orienteering is totally in line with the image of university sports whose motto is: “Excellence in mind and body”.

Posted on | December 21, 2018 | Category: FootO, Newsletter, SkiO

FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond about the cooperation between FISU and the IOF and the honour to have been chosen as a member of the IOF Ethics Panel.

The FISU sports programme covers more than 60 sports, therefore FISU wants to build close relationships with all the federations that are responsible for these sports.
– This collaboration is extremely important because it gives credibility to our events that are now recognised by all and allow the international federations to promote their sport in the academic environment. We help them to develop a “Dual Career” programme within their own organisations, says Eric Saintrond, Secretary General/CEO at International University Sports Federation, FISU.

How has the relation between FISU and the IOF developed until today?
– Orienteering joined FISU with its first World University Championships (WUC) in 1978 in Jyvaskyla, Finland. Since then, 21 WUC Orienteering have been organised until today. Orienteering is, together with Cross Country, the individual sport with the longest history in FISU WUC. The 2020 WUC Orienteering will take place Smolensk, Russia, from 14 to 18 July.

In  2017 the International Orienteering Federation received the Award for ‘Best International Sport Federation’ at the FISU gala . “It is the first big award for our organization from such a high level organization like FISU. Because our sport is not an Olympic sport we don’t have so many places to be seen globally. Here, this is a good place for us,” said  Leho Haldna, IOF President.

Ski Orienteering joined the WUC programme with its first Championship in 2016 in Tula, Russia. The 2018 WUC was held in Tartu, Estonia and the 2020 WUC will take place in Rovaniemi, Finland, from 23 to 27 March.  It is a new collaboration that strengthens what were already very solid links between FISU and the IOF.

How do you see the cooperation in the future?
– We had successfully included Ski Orienteering in the World University Championship programme and, for the first time, it will be part of the Winter Universiade 2019 in Krasnoyarsk. We hope that other Organising Committees of the Winter Universiade will agree to include this new discipline in their programme.

You are also a member of the IOF Ethics Panel, describe your interest in ethics and sport.
– There is no sports without ethics and spirit of fair play. These are the main values that competition sport must convey. In the last years, there have been too many scandals that have tarnished the image of high level sport: doping, violence, corruption. It is essential for the sports organisations to have a healthy management of their structures and protect their athletes and leaders from all these deviant behaviours. Personally, it is a great honour to have been chosen as a member of the IOF Ethics Panel.

Anything else you want to mention/highlight?
– Orienteering is totally in line with the image of university sports whose motto is: “Excellence in mind and body”. It goes without saying that, in such sports, our body’s and spirit’s virtues are used; that is why Orienteering is a discipline that is a true ambassador of university sports’ values.

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