Leonz Eder said Zakopane would be an ideal host of the FISU Winter World University Games ©Getty Images

Acting International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Leonz Eder believes Zakopane would be an "ideal" location for a future edition of the Winter World University Games.

The Polish resort, well known for its ski jumping hills, has twice hosted the Winter Universiade before in 1993 and 2001.

Eder and FISU secretary general Eric Saintrond visited the town to take part in the second European Congress of Sport and Tourism, where they were both panellists.

Both praised Poland's track record for hosting both summer and winter sporting events, including the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games which featured dry slope ski jumping in Zakopane.

"With the legacy of these major events and recently upgraded or newly built outstanding facilities, Zakopane would be again an ideal host for the FISU Winter World University Games, maybe together with its neighbour Slovakia," said Eder.

Saintrond added: "Many federations including FISU would be happy to return to this country for their events."

Turin will host the next Winter World University Games in 2025 with the 2027 edition yet to be awarded.

Last week, Poland announced its plan to bid for the 2036 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Zakopane hosted the second European Congress of Sport and Tourism ©FISU
Zakopane hosted the second European Congress of Sport and Tourism ©FISU

Both Eder and Saintrond were invited to the Congress by Poland's Minister of Sport and Tourism, Kamil Bortniczuk.

Eder took part in a panel discussion called "Organisation of great sporting events as an impulse for development - how great sporting events affect social and economic development".

Saintrond was a part of "Sports diplomacy - sport as an area of international diplomacy" with both panels shown live on Polish television.

In Eder's panel, the Acting President said that the organisation had carried out impact studies for a long time to confirm and validate the different benefits that sporting events bring to a city, region and country.

He highlighted topics such as the economic impact, the appeal of the destination, infrastructure development and cultural and educational exchanges.

"Besides the community engagement and effective promotion and marketing work, a tourist destination may appear more frequently on the global map, if the city or the region it is associated with repeatedly bids for international events," Eder said.

Russia was discussed during Saintrond's panel with the official expressing hope that students from the country will be able to return to international sport once "the war is over".

FISU, as with most international sporting bodies, banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Sportswashing was among the other topics discussed.

"We have to create a win-win situation between the countries that want to invest in sport events to clean their image and the sport bodies that need hosts to organise their events," Saintrond said.