NAPOLI, October 12, 2017 - With under two years to go until the 2019 Summer Universiade, FISU President Oleg Matytsin and Secretary General/CEO Eric Saintrond visited Naples and Rome to discuss the course of preparations and pledged to work closely with the Organising Committee to “invest in efficient and creative solutions”.
During the three-day working visit, FISU executives met with Vincenze de Luca, President of the Campania Region, and senior officials of the Italian sports federations, including President of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) Giovanni Malago; CONI Secretary General Roberto Fabbricini; President of the Italian University Sports Federation (CUSI) Lorenzo Lentini; and Raimondo Pasquino, head of ARU (Agenzia Regionale Universiadi, the local body in charge of the preparations for the Universiade).
President Matytsin and Eric Saintrond also had a chance to visit the office of ARU to meet with the staff and receive first-hand information about the preparation process.
Speaking about the visit, President Matytsin said: “Italy has a truly great history of hosting Universiades, starting with the inaugural edition of 1959. However, the Napoli 2019 Organising Committee has had less preparation time than for recent Universiades so, together with the organisers, we have to double our efforts in order to provide the world’s best student athletes with an unforgettable positive experience of the Napoli 2019 Universiade. FISU will continue to provide as much support as possible in helping to find efficient and creative solutions to all of the challenges that are associated with hosting a global event of this size.”
Since last year, FISU’s Summer Universiade department has been working with ARU on a daily basis. In addition, FISU has signed a contract with EPIC, a US-based strategic event planning company, to help ARU meet the tight schedule for the preparations.
Delegates from ARU recently attended Taipei 2017, giving them invaluable insight into the particularities of hosting this major multi-sport event. Next month, FISU will also organise a debriefing for ARU staff from representatives of the Taipei 2017 Organising Committee.
This does not mean, however, that FISU wishes to see the Universiade in Napoli replicate the recent edition in Taipei. On the contrary, President Matytsin was keen to stress that each Universiade has its own unique qualities.
“Every Universiade is exclusive in its own way, and this is also true for Napoli 2019. Campania is a genuinely special place for visitors. The rich culture and hospitality of the region are its undoubted advantages, but much remains to be done to make the anniversary edition of the Universiade a success,” the FISU President said.
FISU invited the Italian contingent to pay special attention to the staffing of ARU; practical, day-to-day interaction with all relevant Italian sports federations; and a timely renovation of all venues to allow sufficient time for hosting test events.
According to President Matytsin, the meetings with the Italian authorities gave out positive signals, which reflect the understanding of the challenges ahead. “We have an impression that the authorities of the region are not only well-informed about the preparation process, they also fully understand the seriousness of the challenge and are committed to acting in a quick and efficient manner in order to solve the existing issues.
“It is also very reassuring to see the Campania Region, CONI, CUSI and the Italian academic community join their efforts and use their experience to successfully implement this project.”The 30th Summer Universiade, which marks 60 years since the very first Universiade in Turin in 1959, will take place at the administrative centre of the Campania Region, the city of Naples and its surrounding area from 3 to 14 July 2019. Naples was announced as the host of the 2019 Universiade in May 2016, becoming the fifth edition of the Summer Universiade to be staged in Italy.