©Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games

27 July 2023 – Chengdu

FISU Progress Report

On 26 July, the first five members of the 16-member Observer Team of the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 Organising Committee arrived in Chengdu, China, where the FISU World University Games Summer are taking place from 28 July to 8 August. On the very first day, the team had an important appointment: the presentation of the Progress Report to the FISU Executive Committee.

Following a long-standing tradition, the FISU Executive Committee meets in the run-up to the FISU Games to discuss strategic matters. Around the table are the FISU Acting President, the FISU Secretary General, heads of numerous FISU functional departments, honoured guests and partners. In addition to this presentation, FISU receives a detailed document ('Progress Report') which lists the milestones and assesses them according to the level of progress of each functional area. This procedure helps to ensure that FISU and the organising committee can coordinate their work closely and arrange all tasks in a timely manner.

©Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games

Niklas Börger, Chief Executive Officer, and Sina Diekmann, Chief Sports Officer, were pleased to present the report on site at the InterContinental Century City in Chengdu and report on the considerable progress made within a few months. The bi-annual report was the third to present the status of preparations since December 2022.

©Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games

"Above all, it was important to expand the team quantitatively and qualitatively in these last few months," explains Börger. The number of employees has grown from 17 to 82 within six months and includes both full-time employees and external experts. The plan is to increase this number to 160 by 2024 and to almost 250 by 2025. The members of staff have already gained experience at major sporting events in Germany, such as the European Championships 2022 in Munich or the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin, and are working with even greater motivation on the Rhine-Ruhr 2025 FISU Games.

"It is important to us that we organise an event that will provide enjoyable moments for all visitors and participants and that will inspire the student sports community from the region, the country and around the world."

©Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games

  • The organising committee structure was adapted to facilitate communication between the departments and to clearly define the areas of responsibility. There are currently five teams – Strategy & Administration, Communication, Technology, Operations and Sports, which are divided into almost 35 functional areas.

  • All competition venues and training venues are defined. There are two large clusters at Arena Sportpark in Düsseldorf and Messe Essen, which are regarded as centres for a variety of sports. Other sports venues are spread across the cities of Düsseldorf and Essen and are also located in Bochum, Duisburg and Mülheim an der Ruhr. A complete overview of the sports and their venues can be found on our homepage.

  • The FISU hotel has been selected. The hotel will be the central coordination point for FISU during the Games. There will be office space, a certain contingent of living rooms and meeting halls. It is also essential that the competition venues and transport are within easy walking distance. In addition to the FISU, the athletes, press and officials will also need to be accommodated. Once the hotels have been selected, transport links between the sites will need to be planned.

  • Five venues will either be renovated or rebuilt. These are the sports venues for athletics, rowing, water polo, artistic gymnastics and volleyball. In June, a small ceremony was held in Bochum to celebrate the start of construction work at the Lohrheidestadion.

©Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games

Sina Diekmann, Chief Sports Officer, reported on developments in the area of sports and competition planning.

The first version of the competition schedule is ready and will be concretised and fixed within the next six months. As of today, 238 medal events will be held over 12 days. Furthermore, 3x3 wheelchair basketball has been selected as an additional sport.

"3x3 basketball is a modern and young sport that brings basketball out of the sports hall and onto public courts and venues," explains Diekmann. "Our goal is to create a joint event where both running and wheelchair-using athletes compete at the same venue." The games of both competitions will be played alternately on the same field. Eight teams per gender will play in two groups, i.e. four teams in each group. The para-teams will play a group stage followed by direct elimination with quarter-finals."

©Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games

Other important milestones include the launch of the brand identity and numerous discussions with potential partners who will be involved in the organisation of the event. An article on the launch of the logo can be found here. Besides the Rrogress Report, the "travel group" in Chengdu can also look forward to the Observer Program. This will give them the opportunity to visit the venues, make new contacts and clarify all the nuances of the organisation directly with their colleagues from FISU and the Chengdu 2021 FISU Games organising committee.