Ahead of the 2024 FISU World University Championships Cross Country set to be held in Muscat, Oman, on 17-18 February, FISU President Leonz Eder held a series of important meetings with local academic and sports authorities.

Accompanied by Dr. Salim Al-Araimi, President of the Oman Committee for University Sport, President Eder held discussions aimed at fostering cooperation and promoting sports participation as well as FISU events and programmes. One of the most significant meetings was with officials from the prestigious National University of Science and Technology. Dr. Ali Al Bimani, the Vice Chancellor, and other prominent representatives expressed their eagerness to join FISU's Healthy Campus Programme, recognising its potential to improve campus wellbeing, strengthen internal cohesion within the university and enhance networking opportunities on a global scale. 

President Eder also took the opportunity to explore ways of promoting field hockey among students, particularly within the Asian University Sports Federation. His meeting with Dr. Marwan Juma Ali Al Juma, Chairman of the Oman Hockey Association, underlined the commitment to developing sporting talent and increasing participation in a very popular sport in the region. The discussions culminated in a meeting with Dr. Basil Al Rawas, Oman's Undersecretary for Sports and Youth, who emphasised the central role of sport in youth development and education. The prospect of Oman hosting future FISU events, including the possibility of the FISU World Forum in 2028, emerged as a topic of mutual interest, indicative of Oman's growing stature in the global sporting arena. 

A photo of this important meeting in Oman the day before the event. FISU
A photo of this important meeting in Oman the day before the event. FISU

During this last meeting, President Eder stressed the importance of three fundamental pillars for the FISU:

-The organisation of international sporting events (FISU Games, Championships and Cups) as a factor for promoting and uniting university sport.

-Investment in the Healthy Campus Programme, for which Eder suggested that Omani universities join the programme as soon as possible, given the benefits it brings to the wellbeing of communities, including better integration and academic success

-The education sector, through empowerment and knowledge growth on the part of ecosystem stakeholders (local and international), as well as through the development of university sport 

The convergence of sport, tourism, and youth development under the Ministry of Oman underlines the potential for fruitful collaboration between Oman and FISU. 

As the 2024 FISU World University Championships Cross Country approaches, the groundwork laid during these discussions promises to enrich the sporting landscape and foster lasting partnerships aimed at promoting sporting excellence and holistic development.