The celebration is also focused on local communities ©FISU

International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin says their International Day of University Sport (IDUS) celebration is about marking "something bigger than yourself".

The third IDUS event, taking place today, sees events in 87 countries with the aim of creating links between universities and local communities focused around sport, physical activity and healthy living.

IDUS, officially backed by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO), has also been established as a platform to exchange ideas and opportunities via university sport worldwide.

"When I look back on my days as a student athlete, and today as the leader of the university sport movement, I can see the skills I learned by playing sport and the way those skills have shaped the person I have gone on to become," Matytsin said.

"Our focus is on promoting excellence in mind and body through sport, and instilling core values such as friendship, integrity and hard work into younger generations.

"The International Day of University Sport is a celebration not just of students, but of local communities, and to recognise that sport should play a central role in our lives.

"It is about more than being active, but being involved in something bigger than yourself.

"Each year on September 20 we see success across the world, and I am confident that today we will see that too."

FISU said more than 500 activities marking IDUS took place in 2018, and they are hoping for even more this year.

The most active nation was Hungary, with more than 160 activities organised in 36 locations for 180,000 participants.