The name for the world university games, “Universiade”, is derived from the words “University” and “Olympiade”. The Universiade is organised by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) as an international multi-sports event for university athletes. In 1923, the first World University Games (WUG) were held and in 1949, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) was established, and the first FISU Games were held in Italy. The Games are second in size only to the Olympics with around 13,000 competitors and officials participating. The 2017 WUG programme will compromise of fourteen compulsory sports and eight optional sports and which are determined by the relevant host country. The Games are staged in various cities throughout the world.
The Irish delegation at the 2015 Games held in Gwangju, South Korea consisted of 64 athletes and 27 team officials and was supported by third level colleges and universities, the relevant National Governing Sports Bodies and Sport Ireland.
The Games are now an established part of high performance programmes for many Irish athletes in a range of different sports, many of the athletes being funded by Sport Ireland’s high performance programme and are an ideal stepping stone for young high performance athletes who are either moving from age group events or starting to show significant promise in their chosen sport. The Games also act as a significant learning / training opportunity for both athletes and officials in a high performance and global multi-sport environment, which places both athletes and officials at an advantage for the Olympic Games.
Student Sport Ireland is the sole sanctioning body responsible for identifying, selecting and coordinating the Irish delegation to the 2017 Games. Student Sport Ireland also establishes selection criteria and appoints the Team Managers, coaching staff in each sport in conjunction with the relevant NGBs in addition to overseeing the appointment of medical, administrative and PR personnel.