The Asian University Sports Federation has witnessed an increase in the number of women participating in sport ©AUSF

Asian University Sports Federation (AUSF) President Yanqing Xue has stressed gender equality is a priority for the organisation as it continues to grow its membership.

Established in 1992, the AUSF has gone from having 10 Member Federations to now boasting 40, including China, Iran, Mongolia, Singapore and Thailand.

Xue said the mission of the AUSF was to promote mutual respect and develop friendships among Asian youth by taking part in continental sporting competitions and education activities, while ensuring there is gender equality.

"All AUSF projects target both genders," said Xue.

"Gender equality is emphasised not only in sports events, but has also been included as an important topic in AUSF educational activities such as workshops, seminars, strategic dialogues etc.

"In recent years, we are delighted to see that participation numbers of female athletes are growing steadily, and also awards won by women are increasing at the same time."

The AUSF has increased the number of Member Federations from 10 to 40 since its inception in 1992 ©AUSF
The AUSF has increased the number of Member Federations from 10 to 40 since its inception in 1992 ©AUSF

The AUSF has been investing in efforts to build the 3x3 Basketball Championship and the AUSA Football Cup as well as creating projects to promote badminton and cheerleading.

"Next year, among all these events, the AUSF Football Cup to be held in Jinjiang, China, will be the highlight in terms of scale of participation, competition level, and popularity of the sport," said Xue.

Last year saw the AUSF Run Challenge organised for the first time as part of the International Day of University Sports (IDUS) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The event attracted participation from 79 teams composed of more than 40,000 university students as well as staff from nine AUSF Member Federations.

"I believe this challenge not only eased anxiety and stress of all participants but set a good example for students across Asia to participate more in physical activities, and inspired them to conquer the pandemic," said Xue.

"This project could grow to become an official AUSF activity for IDUS celebrations in the years to come."