1,000 days until the biggest sporting event in Germany since the 1972 Munich Olympics

20 October 2022, Rhine-Ruhr: In exactly 1000 days, Germany will host 10,000 athletes and officials from almost 170 countries at the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games. From 16 to 27 July 2025, more than a touch of the Olympics will blow through the five host cities of Bochum, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen and Mülheim an der Ruhr at the major sporting event involving 18 sports.

Rhine-Ruhr 2025 celebrates the ‘1,000 Days to Go’ countdown by announcing its ‘Brand Purpose’ that will help the Local Organising Committee (LOC) strategise and execute the Games’ plans systematically and ensure a vibrant, athlete and community-driven, multi-sport event in a sustainable manner.

With the second largest multi-sports event in the world, the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community, the German University Sports Federation (adh) along with the five host cities and the LOC the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games gGmbH, want above all strong future impulses in the areas of sports, science, culture and economy.

“With 783,000 students at 70 universities and 5.1 million club members in 18,000 sports clubs, North Rhine-Westphalia is an outstanding sports and science location and therefore extremely interesting for international stakeholders.

“With the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games, we have the chance to present this unique potential to the world. We can already look forward to hosting the second largest multi-sport event in the world in Germany’s No 1 sports state and to welcoming thousands of students and athletes from all over the world to North Rhine-Westphalia. With Rhine-Ruhr 2025, we can once again show the sports world that major sporting events in Germany are organised at a world-class level,” says Andrea Milz, State Secretary for Sport and Volunteering of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Major sporting event as a motor for the metropolitan region

The FISU World University Games are intended to build inter-cultural relationships and friendships across borders, bring about change, and encourage more children and youth to do sports.

“Sport plays an important role in our society and conveys values such as social interaction, fair play, respect and inclusion. The Rhine-Ruhr 2025 should help to focus more on the sport with its diversity, as we recently did impressively with the European Championships in Munich,” explains Stefan Kürten, CEO of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games gGmbH. As a former EBU Board Member for Sport, he was significantly involved in the format development of the European Championships.

The inclusion of science is what accentuates Rhine-Ruhr 2025 with several clever minds working on solutions to the major tasks of the future.

“Students act as role models in our society. With the Rhine-Ruhr 2025, the universities, society and the economy will get a boost, both nationally and internationally,” says Kürten.

The LOC is already in contact with various stakeholders in order to inspire and win them over to the vision of Rhine-Ruhr 2025. “The interlocking of science, sport and business will bring sustainable added value for our entire society,” adds the native of Düsseldorf.

“The Brand Purpose that we launch today will hold us in good stead in positioning ourselves beyond sports and help us achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves, the Rhine-Ruhr region and, for our partners and stakeholders. The Games will be a perfect platform for the young athletes to express themselves and represent their country in the best possible way.”

The concept is based on sustainability – 95% of the required sports facilities already exist

Economic, ecological and social sustainability play a decisive role in the planning of the mega event. Due to the existing sports facility infrastructure in the Rhine and Ruhr region, which is unique in the world, 95% of the sports facilities required for the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 are already available today without having to be rebuilt. The event concept envisages the use of a total of 21 sports facilities at established locations and at exhibition areas in Bochum, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen and Mülheim an der Ruhr.

The sports facilities are within a 25-kilometre radius and connected by a dense public transport network, which enables a compact, modern and, in particular, sustainable event concept. One focus is on the close conceptual integration with educational and scientific organisations, universities and colleges as well as the involvement of students.

“The process for developing the sustainability programme will be based on the guidelines of the United Nations, the European Union and the national strategy for major sporting events,” explains Kürten.

When the athletes from all over the world compete against each other from 16 July 2025, many new friendships for life will be made. “At no other sporting event in my career have I made more friends than at the World University Games,” says student World and Olympic Champion Fabian Hambüchen, reminiscing his success at the World University Games 2015 in Gwangju, South Korea and the numerous encounters with athletes from other countries.

And when it comes to inclusion, the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 will be creating history as for the first time, student- Para-athletes will take part in the Games.

Congresses, academic programmes and cultural events planned with the involvement of citizens

In addition to the sports competitions, a diverse academic programme will take place before and during Rhine-Ruhr 2025 as one of the core elements of the event.

“As an international scientific congress, the ’FISU World Conference’ forms the heart of the academic programme. The focus is on the international and interdisciplinary exchange between universities, students and partners from politics and business, on future issues of sport and major sporting events,” explains Jörg Förster, CEO of the adh.

In close cooperation with the Ministry of Science in Berlin, the Ministry of Culture and Science in North Rhine-Westphalia, the State Rectors’ Conference and the universities, scientific congresses and specialist conferences on future topics such as sustainability in and through sport, networked mobility, digitalisation, inclusion and to offer dual careers for top athletes.

Specific formats for athletes, volunteers, media representatives or medical staff will round off the educational offer.

“In addition to students and sports enthusiasts, we invite all citizens to make the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games a joint success. The Games will pave a new way for the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region’s efforts to develop into a multicultural, scientific and educational centre in Germany and Europe,” emphasises Förster.

In order to make Rhine-Ruhr 2025 tangible for all participants and citizens, exciting and varied cultural events will also be showcased in all main clusters. Intercultural exchange will play a major role in this. Young and modern cultural elements from predominantly local creative artists are intended to fire people’s imaginations, embody the joie de vivre of Germany’s most multicultural region and encourage active participation. As in many other areas, the universities and the municipalities are involved in the development of the cultural programme.

To mark the ‘1000 Days to Go’ campaign, a personalised Rhine-Ruhr 2025 Instagram filter has been launched for athletes and fans to participate.

To use the filter, one only needs to visit the RhineRuhr2025 account on Instagram and click on the ‘filters’ tab. Here, one will see the Rhine-Ruhr logo and ‘1000 Days to Go’ message. Click on ‘Try It’ and you can take a selfie or video to share on your Instagram profile.

For more on Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU World University Games, visit www.rhineruhr2025.com