Doha University of Science and Technology (UDST), in collaboration with FISU, and the Qatar Collegiate Sports Federation (QCSF), organised the first "Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Universities Sport & Wellness Symposium 2024" a prestigious event held from 14-16 January.

With over 300 participants from various countries, including the GCC, this symposium addressed the growing interest in the role of post-secondary institutions in the GCC sports development framework. 

Its main objective was to bring together national and international leaders in sport and well-being and to provide a unique platform for dialogue between government officials, universities, national university sport federations and FISU. It was the first time that these stakeholders had come together to discuss opportunities for cooperation and growth in the region. 

The Symposium was further enhanced by the presence of prominent figures deeply committed to its vision. FISU President Leonz Eder gave an insightful presentation highlighting the diverse range of events and educational programmes developed and organised by FISU. He praised the quality of the Symposium and acknowledged the contributions of the QCSF and the UDST.   

A photo of the GCC Universities Sport & Wellness Symposium 2024. FISU/BORNAN SPORTS TECHNOLOGY
A photo of the GCC Universities Sport & Wellness Symposium 2024. FISU/BORNAN SPORTS TECHNOLOGY

FISU Secretary General and CEO Eric Saintrond also provided valuable insights into the current global sports landscape. He stressed the opportunities and positioning of university sport, particularly in the Gulf region. Ibrahim bin Saleh Al-Naimi, President of the QCSF and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Salem Al Naemi, President of the UDST, graced the event with their presence and provided insights into the importance of the work of national and regional stakeholders in the development of university sport.

The symposium featured a distinguished line-up of experts who delivered insightful presentations, highlighting opportunities for student engagement, particularly in wellness services and activities related to the FISU Healthy Campus Programme. 

Speakers included Fernando Parente and Ivo Carvalhosa from the FISU Development and Healthy Campus Team, Noemi Zaharia from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, a two-time Olympic medallist and legendary FISU Universiade athlete (seven medals at Zagreb 1987), and Dr. Brian McCommons, UDST Programme Development & Accreditation Specialist. 

Taking advantage of the opportunity to have the FISU President and Secretary General in Doha, a meeting was held with Bornan Sports Technology to discuss digital transformation and explore future collaboration opportunities. 

FISU President Leonz Eder, at the Symposium in Doha. FISU/BORNAN SPORTS TECHNOLOGY
FISU President Leonz Eder, at the Symposium in Doha. FISU/BORNAN SPORTS TECHNOLOGY

As digitalisation and the integration of new technologies have emerged as key elements in the field of sport, President Eder noted that this aligns seamlessly with FISU's vision: "We all see the potential of technology to help us realise our dreams and challenges." 

Discussions revolved around the core principles of FISU's vision, with both parties expressing a keen interest in working together. Bornan Sports Technology was represented by Chairman Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, CEO Eva Maria Cordoba and Managing Director Roberto Garcia. 

After two days of symposium sessions and productive meetings with local stakeholders, UDST welcomed a team of FISU assessors for an audit of its commitment as Qatar's first university under the "Healthy Campus" programme. This Platinum University presented an outstanding and innovative programme for the wellbeing of its community, reflecting institutional commitment and exemplary practices that FISU intends to disseminate internationally.