You are all here in Akita today to attend or participate in the 4th World University 2016 Championship.
This event is part of FISU’s wonderful programme featuring 34 World University Championships in 2016; already in 2014, 28 championships had been held, gathering 6,448 student-athletes.
It is important to mention that 338 World University Championships have been organised under the aegis of FISU since 1962 over the 5 continents. They have featured 42 disciplines and gathered more than 60,000 student-athletes in total.
I should also thank all Organising Committees of these events. Without their energy and enthusiasm and without the support of our member associations these championships would have been impossible. Note also that FISU has benefited greatly from the much valued assistance of many international sports federations with which it maintains close ties.
The 2016 World University Championships represent the 27th edition of these competitions, which take place every two years in even-numbered years. They alternate with the Summer and Winter Universiades, which are organized in odd-numbered years.
The championships provide a large number of students, teachers and sports leaders from various backgrounds with a place, in addition to the Universiades, to meet and share their experiences and ideas. The success of the championships has regularly increased with time. This shows how dynamic FISU member National University Sports Federations have been; more and more of them have put themselves forward for the organisation of a championship.
FISU actively supports those events and endeavours to satisfy students’ creativity and aspirations by regularly promoting innovative sports disciplines. The aim is to retain the spirit of play and encourage the development of an open and curious mind among university athletes.
As university events, these world championships aim at the highest technical level and excellence, which are the basic requirements in university. In this sense, your presence here is already a sign of success.
The International University Sports Federation, the National University Sports Federation of Japan and all the organisers wish to thank you for your participation and hope that you will be warmly welcomed here, where you will find favourable conditions for the best practice of your sport.
In the name of FISU, I wish you an excellent championship.
Oleg Matytsin, FISU President