FISU President Oleg Matytsin has encouraged students to celebrate International Day of University Sport ©FISU

International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin has called for students to celebrate the International Day of University Sport (IDUS).

IDUS was established in 2016 by FISU after recognition by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO).

The day aims to celebrate links between universities and their local communities with sport, physical activity and healthy living playing the leading role.

FISU has adapted this year’s celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a series of online and offline events planned to mark the day.

FISU member federations, both national and continental, are also organising activities.

Matytsin called on students to support the day in his IDUS message.

"We really wanted to demonstrate that all students around the world feel happy and united by this idea," Matytsin said.

"We want all students to feel that sport is an important part of their life.

"When we come together and celebrate this day, we can feel the unity of our family - the family of students, the family of sport."

An online dance competition is among the events arranged by FISU as part of the celebrations.

The dance competition has taken place in the build-up to the day, with the semi-finals held yesterday.

Instagram polls have determined the winners of each contest.

The final vote will take place today.

FISU highlighted the "Most Active Federation" contest being run by the continental body FISU America among the activities taking place.

The German University Sports Federation and Federation of University Sports of China have both held running challenges for students, while Chinese Taipei has held student workshops.

The Sri Lanka Universities Sports Association arranged a quiz.

Global Association of International Sports Federations President Raffaele Chiulli also gave IDUS an endorsement.

"For the past five years, the International Day of University Sport has become a key component of the efforts to ensure students around the world learn from the values of sport, by making it a part of their daily lives," he said. 

"When sport and physical activity are emphasised on one day, together, we take a vital step towards emphasising them every day. 

"And knowing the many directions in which young people are pulled today, we at GAISF very much welcome this move to ensure a consistent, repeated and effective focus on sport."