Today we regretfully announce the withdrawal of our GB Students delegation from the FISU World University Summer Games, due to be held in Chengdu, China, in June and July 2022. This has been influenced by several factors, including the current conflict in Ukraine.
The current lack of clarity from the International University Sports Federation (FISU) on the inclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials is a significant concern; it is of the utmost importance that clear leadership is shown during this time.
Following our statement last week in solidarity with Ukraine and condemning Russia, and after consulting with our NGB (national governing body) partners, we have concluded that FISU’s lack of leadership in relation to the current circumstances makes it impossible for BUCS to enter prior to the stated deadline.
Furthermore, there continue to be significant operational challenges which makes entering a delegation very difficult, including ongoing concerns around cyber security, COVID-19 protocols and the overall quality of the experience. The cost for individual athletes to participate in the games, whilst helped by recent organising committee actions, remains a barrier and does not align with our stance on making sport accessible for all.
Vince Mayne, BUCS CEO, comments: “We deeply regret that we are not able to support a delegation. We encourage FISU to show leadership during this difficult time and provide clarity on the inclusion of Russian and Belarussian athletes. We also ask for the Chengdu Organising Committee to continue to review their games’ protocols which could help address some of the operational challenges. Should the situation change significantly in the coming weeks, we are open to reviewing the viability of us attending the games.
We recognise the opportunities that performing on the international stage bring to our student athletes. As we look ahead to the future, we hope that we can work together with organising committees and NGBs to ensure international sport continues to thrive.”