“The FESSAP (Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines) is doing a fantastic job in promoting university sports in the Philippines.”
With those words from International University Sports Federation (FISU) secretary general Eric Saintrond, the partnership between the FISU and FESSAP has been further strengthened.
The Belgium-born Saintrond was in Manila last September 6-9 to check out on the FESSAP’s preparations for the World University Cycling Championship to be hosted by Tagaytay City in March next year.
Saintrond’s four-day Manila visit, his first to the Philippines, also was to explore more projects for the Philippines, particularly the FESSAP, which is the sole university sports federation in the country that has been recognized by the FISU since 2009.
“My visit here is to explore more projects for the Philippines, projects for the FESSAP, for university sports and for all the student communities in the Philippines,” said Saintrond during a 17-minute “live” interview by PTV Sports over national television last September 7.
Saintrond also said the FISU is already planning another project for the FESSAP, possibly world university golf in 2018, according to Saintrond. “The dream would be to organize a major multi-sports event, which is the Universiade (in 2019), in the Philippines, which is another project we want to work on.”
The FISU was established in 1949 and counts more than 170 countries as members to date. It was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1961 as the sole organization running university sports in the world.
The FISU organizes the Summer Universiade and Winter Universiade biennially during odd years. The Universiade, which is also billed as the World University Games, has attracted prominent university athletes from all over the world, including those from the United States, People’s Republic of China and the Russian Republic.
The FISU also organizes World University Championships for the different sports.
The FESSAP has sent athletes to the past three editions of the Summer Universiade and the country has snared a gold medal and a silver medal during the time.
In the 2009 games in Shenzhen, China, youthful Samuel Thomas Harper Morrison brought home a silver in men’s taekwondo. Two years later, in Kazan, Russia, the Philippines captured its first ever gold in Universiade history by way of Grandmaster Wesley So in men’s chess.
Filipino athletes also saw action in the 28th Universiade in Gwangju City, South Korea last July.
The next Summer Universiade will be hosted by Chinese-Taipei in 2017.