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On 20 September 2014, FISU organized the first edition of the International University Sport Festival "Lausanne in Motion" on the Place de la Navigation in Lausanne. Introduced for the first time by our federation as part of the creation of an ‘International University Sports Day’, the event can be considered a real success.
"Lausanne in Motion" was a free event and open to all. It was set out as a meeting between the students and the citizens of Lausanne. An opportunity to invite the citizens to do some physical exercise and bring university sport outside the university campus into the city. Finally, it was also an opportunity to thank the city of Lausanne for its hospitality as it has welcomed the seat of FISU since 2011.
"The virtual society is becoming more important in today's world and especially among young people: internet, social networking, computer training. Therefore, we took this opportunity to lure the university students away from campus and make them meet the city”, FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien explained. “Lausanne in Motion, is exactly that: a meeting between the students and the people through sport. It's also a way to involve students in creating innovative events, with sports as a central theme of course. The purpose of the "International University Sport Festival" was therefore to show the values of FISU and university sport to the city of Lausanne and set the Lausanne population in motion via an introduction to new sports. In the longer term, this event will have to be exported. Indeed, the university sport needs to grow around the world, which is why we asked for UNESCO to create the "International University Sports Day" under its umbrella. If this happens, it will mean that this festival, "Lausanne in Motion" will have to be repeated in all the major cities of the world where there are universities, academics, students and people have a the taste for innovation. Beijing, Brasilia, Paris, etc. and of course Lausanne!”
"One of the core values that characterizes the University of Lausanne, is openness; openness to the world, to collaborations, to society”, Dominique Arletta, rector of the University of Lausanne commented. “So it is very important for us that this event is taking place in the city where you can meet people, since a university is in first place an institution to serve the population. It is always said that the University has three missions: education, research as well as a service to society. So for us, a meeting with society during a festive event such as "Lausanne in Motion" which also tends to show the benefits of sport, is quite essential. It’s obvious that we are the ‘natural’ partner of the event thanks to the involvement of the sports department of the university and the polytechnic.”
"The leitmotiv of “Lausanne in Motion" was to get the students in the city and bring the city to the students”, FISU Secretary-General/CEO Eric Saintrond explained. “For once we did not focus on high performance sport as is usually the case within FISU. No, this time we wanted to organize activities for the people of Lausanne in disciplines that people are not used to practice in an event run by university students."
"It was also a way to thank the people of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud for its hospitality during the move of the headquarters of FISU in 2011. FISU is very happy with its relocation to the Olympic capital and wanted to show this by organizing this event”, FISU Vice-President Leonz Eder added.
"Sport is not limited to competition, it is also a physical activity and leisure time well spent. What we wanted was to set in motion the Lausanne population”, Georges-André Carrel, President of the Organizing Committee further explains. “Thanks to the work of the students, we have been very successful at this challenge and it is a great reward for our organizing committee."
As we already mentioned, FISU President Gallien wanted to create an event organized by academics for academics and also for the general public. The aim was therefore to discover the values of university sport in the city of Lausanne and set its citizens in motion through an introduction to new sports. And from this point of view we can say that it was a total success. Workshops with the different sports were all taken over by young and old who want to learn about these new disciplines. A warm atmosphere ruled the Navigation Square of Lausanne while the weather was on FISU’s side with a radiating sunshine throughout the whole day.
Sports activities animated by sport professionals took place throughout the day on 20 September. In parallel, other activities with more focus on health and new technology did not fail to attract public attention. FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien was especially proud of the success of this event and did not fail to thank all the partners including the University of Lausanne, ‘obvious’ partner of this Festival, but also the municipality brought its enthusiasm and essential logistical support.
This first constitutes the starting point of a new concept within the framework of the "International Day of University Sport". This will be (if, UNESCO agrees to place it on its calendar) a one-day annual gathering organized worldwide for all students and citizens wishing to participate in physical activities. The “International University Sports Day” will then be exported rapidly on campuses around the world.
The end of the day gave way to music with concerts and DJs for the concert "Putting the Lake on Fire”. Needless to say, once again there was a warm atmosphere.
After a highly successful first edition in 2014, the International Festival of University Sports, ‘Lausanne in Motion’, returns in 2016 and this time as part of the ‘International University Sports Day’ proclaimed by UNESCO.
The event, which is a marriage between sport, culture and education, has become the gathering place where the students and the citizens of Lausanne can communicate and share moments of celebration.
FISU is willing to stand closer to the aspirations of youth, to be fully integrated in the academic world and actively participate in the life of the city. That's why the project of this FISU Festival is built by students, for students and for the City.
Our gratitude goes to the Canton de Vaud, to the City of Lausanne, the University of Lausanne, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and to all citizens of Lausanne for becoming our partners and friends.