FISU’S first ever online Forum to be staged at the University of Physical Education (UPS) between 12th and 14th August 2020 has received more than 1,200 registrations so far, a figure that is still expected to rise. The Hungarian University Sport Federation (HUSF), which is one of the main organisers of the Forum, had made a good decision with its partners when it persisted with the ambitious plan to keep the event despite the pandemic.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 FISU World Forum, which had originally planned as a real even, was not cancelled, it only moved to the digital realm. The main organisers of the historic event, the Hungarian University Sport Federation (HUSF), the University of Physical Education (UPE) and the Digital Success Program (DSP) insisted that the Forum should be held under the modified conditions as well.
It exceeded everyone’s expectations at HUSF that more than 1,200 registrations from a total of 96 countries have been received until Monday.
„We won the bid to host the Forum two years ago”, said Dr. Ádám Kiss, president of HUSF. “Obviously, we had been preparing for a real event that time, but the coronavirus pandemic ruined our original plan. If we had had cancelled the event this year, I am sure we would have not been given the opportunity to hold the next one. Therefore, in agreement with our strategic partners including FISU, we decided to keep the Forum online. To be honest, it took us by surprise that one week before the start of the Forum we have received more than 1,200 registrations. I am not afraid that the digital nature of the event is a disadvantage because we are getting used to having events that had previously been held in real time and space online since the outbreak of the pandemic. The only ‘problem’ we are facing is how we can satisfy everyone’s need.”
The HUSF president believes that preparations continue without problems and they are proceeding well. He also emphasized that the appropriate technical background required is available. He is also proud that HUSF and its partners can organise FISU’s first ever online Forum, which may draw attention of the university world sport to the organisation.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach will be one of those who delivers a speech at the opening ceremony. In Mr. Ádám Kiss’s opinion, it has a reason.
“This is the first FISU Forum that will be hold online and the IOC president has also realised its importance. He also believes that it is a forward-looking example to follow in the future. He is aware that besides the Universiade, the Forum is FISU’s second most important event, so he felt the need to give a speech at the opening ceremony.”
Mr. Ádám Kiss is also convinced that the virtual Forum may contribute to the development of the Hungarian university sport as well. He also pointed out that the number of Hungarian students wishing to participate at the vent is on the rise, which is a proof that many of them are interested in the international university sport and its current issues.