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University sports: Unlocking Potential in Africa

"Unlocking Africa’s Potential" was the theme of the Strategic Dialogue that recently brought together FISU, the Federation of African University Sports (FASU), and the South African National University Sports Federation (NUSF) in Johannesburg.

Held by The University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the event was aimed at fostering greater collaboration and partnership between the three federations to advance university sport in Africa.

"FISU is committed to supporting the development of university sports in Africa, and we look forward to working with our partners to achieve this goal," said FISU Acting President, Leonz Eder, who attended the Strategic Dialogue together with FISU Acting Vice President Luciano Cabral and FISU Secretary General and CEO Éric Saintrond.

Leonz Eder added he was grateful for the opportunity to engage with African universities and sports organisations that ensure university sport thrives at all levels.

"I urge you to work together to promote sports and education in Africa. By working together, we can achieve more than we ever could alone," said Barry Hendricks, President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), who was joined by General Ahmed Nasser, President of the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC).

Barry Hendricks stressed the importance of sports in education, noting that sports not only promote physical fitness but also foster teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking skills. He also insisted on the imperative of gender representation in leadership and inclusive sport.

The speakers delved into various topics related to university sports in Africa, including the development of university sports programmes, athlete welfare, disability sport, the use of social media and the promotion of gender equality in sports.

The participants also shared their experiences and best practices in sports management and administration and explored ways of leveraging technology to enhance sports development in universities across Africa.

Marissa Langeni, CEO of University Sport South Africa (USSA), expressed gratitude to FASU and FISU for the support provided to the two host universities. She emphasised the importance of the organisations’ collaborative spirit in major sports development.

Nomsa Mahlangu, Senior Director for Sport at UJ and President of both USSA and FASU, highlighted the significant impact that sport and education have on the lives and careers of African university students.

Participants said that the Strategic Dialogue would lead to concrete initiatives that would benefit university sports programmes and athletes across the continent, thus creating a brighter future for African athletes and sports enthusiasts.

Posted by FISU on 22 May, 2023.
Source: FISU
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