Sport climbing is now recognized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). At its Executive Committee meeting in Kazan (June 30th -July 1st, 2013), the FISU added sport climbing to their Sports Program at the World University Championships.
What are the World University Championships?
The program of the World University Championships includes 37 sports with individual/team sports, indoor/outdoor sports, mind sports and summer/winter sports. The World University Championships are a world multiple mono-sport events, since 1963. In 2012, 28 World University Championships were being organized in four continents. Five new cities have been recently added into the World University Championships for 2014.
A unique opportunity for Sport Climbing and Athletes.
In 2016, IFSC will be able to organize its first World University Championships. It represents a fantastic opportunity for both sport climbing and athletes to benefit from additional international media coverage. In fact, each World University Championships gathers thousands of spectators and hundreds of media, coming from the host country but also from the five continents. Moreover the strength of student networks will offer an amazing opportunity for sport climbing to be shared widely in Universities worldwide, and at the same time offer to sport climbing athletes a further source of fans. The road for climbing to reach the World University Championships is not over. IFSC is currently looking for a city to host the event and are creating the Continental University Climbing Championships for 2015. This will help prepare for the UWCH and give continental opportunities for climbers.
Following the FISU announcement, Wolfgang Wabel, president of the IFSC European Council, and IFSC board member, representing IFSC at the FISU Executive Committee said, “We would like to thank FISU for recognizing Sport climbing’s rapidly growing popularity by adding it to the Sports Program for the World University Championships. It represents a fantastic opportunity and a great honour. IFSC and sport climbing athletes are excited to meet this challenge!”
This is great news for the development of sport climbing at a regional and international level. In our next issue of Gripped, August 2013, we recap the Hamilton World Cup and feature a piece on the future of climbing as a competitive sport.