World Rugby has reaffirmed its commitment to furthering sport through education by announcing an exciting collaboration with the International University Sports Federation (FISU).
FISU is responsible for the organisation and governance of worldwide competitions for student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28. It stages its events every two years, including two Universiades (summer and winter) and World University Championships in more than 45 sports and promotes education and sport.
Since making its debut in 2004, rugby sevens has established itself as a popular and exciting FISU World Championship sport. The 2016 edition will take place in Swansea, Wales, while the discipline was a successful addition as an invitational sport to the 2013 FISU Summer Universiade, the international sporting and cultural festival, hosted in Kazan, Russia.
The agreement, signed by World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset and FISU President Oleg Matytsin at the SportAccord 2016 Convention in Lausanne is designed to further collaboration with a view to paving the way for rugby sevens to regularly appear on the FISU Summer Universiade programme.
At the heart of the collaboration is a common mission to further the educational and sporting potential of students around the world based on the following principles:
- Encourage the development and practice of sport for male and female students in an inclusive and equitable environment
- Establish joint educational initiatives to promote and protect the integrity of sport and fair play
- Collaborate on the organisation, promotion and sustainability of rugby sevens as a World University Championship and Summer Universiade sport
Lapasset said: "With global Rugby participation at a record 7.73 million ahead of rugby sevens’ debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, this exciting collaboration with FISU will further the reach of our sport through education, while providing excellent competition opportunities for students worldwide.”
Matytsin added: "Since 2004, rugby sevens has constantly grown within FISU, demonstrating it is a real university sport. After having appeared in Kazan for the 2013 Universiade, we are looking forward an exceptional edition of the 2016 World University Championship to be held in Swansea, Great Britain. The cooperation between FISU and World Rugby will provide an excellent showcase for the best student players in the world, a few months before the return of rugby at the Olympic Games.