A press conference with an immense media attention was held at the University of Physical Education (UPE), Budapest two days before the official opening ceremony of 2020 FISU World Forum. Dr. Verena Burk, Chair of FISU Educational Committee also delivered a live speech through the digital platform. It was also revealed that the Hungarian sports channel Sport2TV will broadcast the opening ceremony.
As known, the University of Physical Education (UPE) is going to host 2020 FISU World Forum that takes place between 12 and 14 August. The event, which has been organized every second year since 1992, will be staged online due to the coronavirus pandemic. The opening ceremony will be broadcasted by the Hungarian sports channel Sport2TV at 13:00 (CET). Among many speakers, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Hungarian Secretary of State for Sports of the Ministry of Human Resources, Dr. Tünde Szabó will also give a speech.
There is an intense interest in the online event: up to date, an overall 1,200 registrations from 100 countries has been received. UPE, along with its main partner, the Hungarian University Sport Federation (HUSF), and the event’s technology provider, Digital Success Programme (DSP) is absolutely convinced that the digital nature of the Forum has made it historical.
The Forum will last a total of three days and it offers a wide range of programme: Those who have registered will be able to participate in plenary sessions, panel discussions and workshops. Those who wish to entertain themselves can sign up for fifa20 and digital chess championships, take part in quiz games. In addition to the virtual Budapest tour, participants can watch short videos about elite Hungarian sportspeople who demonstrate their training sessions.
It was UPE rector Prof. Dr. h. c. Lajos Mocsai who made the first speech at the press conference. He was pleased to see the large number of registrations and also emphasized that university sport has a great future, and it may play a significant role in university students’ health prevention.
“We are all very pleased to host this event. I am totally convinced that the proper technical background will ensure the smooth operations of the digital forum which will be remembered for long”, he said. “It is also a great pleasure that HUSF will hold its annual meeting on the opening day of the Forum, thus the two events highlight the importance of the domestic and international university sport. The timing is perfect: the content of the annual meeting is closely related to the Forum and its themes.”
Chair of FISU Education Committee Dr. Verena Burk was also virtually present at the press conference. She highlighted that like elite sport, university sport is also in a particular situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, in addition to the university 3x3 basketball and football world cup, 27 university world championships out of 29 had to be postponed this year. She was pleased to hear that half of those who have registered for the Forum are university students, of which a total of 100 will participate in the Student Project during the event. She also expressed her satisfaction that as a result of the online solutions, countries that have never participated in the Forum will be able to do so this time.
HUSF Secretary General Dr. Mózes Székely reminded the audience that the upcoming event is a great opportunity to get involved in fruitful discussions related to FISU’s future. The topics will cover the most problematic issues of the world’s university sport. Ha also added that International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach will also deliver a speech at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, which reflects the importance of the World Forum.
Dr. Levente András Gál, the project supervisor of the Forum’s technology provider Digital Success Programme (DSP) emphasized the importance of the university sport digitalisation and the collaboration between the partners. He said that although the digital event cannot make up for the real Forum in many aspects, the knowledge to be created on the digital platform will be available for many in the future. He expressed his hope that the University Ranking System and the Digital Sport Knowledge Centre to be based at UPE will have a significant role in the future.
Following Mr. Gál’s speech, the moderator at the press conference, Mr. Dániel Mezei, who is also the coordinator of the Organisation Committee, revealed that the first ninety minutes of the Forum will be broadcasted by Hungarian sports channel Sport TV on Wednesday.
At the end of the media event Hungarian European, World and Olympic champion swimmer Ágnes Kovács, who is acting as UPE Ambassador, shared her thoughts briefly about the virtual Budapest tour in which she appears as a host. The tour will be available by registered members only. She admitted that she had already participated in the Summer Universiade and she attributes great importance to university sport. She said the fact that the Forum’s forward thinking nature and UPE’s concept match is a guarantee that the event will be successful.