The International Day of University Sport is more than a series of sport events put on in city centres. September 20 is an annual occasion for communities to come together and discover new sports through movement and peerless instruction.


Universities play a special role in the sporting world and are where sport can be fully integrated into the education of today’s and tomorrow’s citizens. The International Day of University Sport is celebrated annually on September 20.

Officially endorsed by UNESCO and the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the day showcases the vital role sport plays in our social and civic lives.

Through sport, we most often really learn self-respect and respect for others. 

It is through sport that fair play and the pursuit of excellence are practised in tandem. 

For us to reach our potential, both as individuals and as a collective, education and sport need to be at the core of our endeavours. 

September 20 is the day to remind all that sport is available to everyone.

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What to expect during the International Day of University Sport events

Sport is about activity and movement. 

As such, International Day of University Sport events are made up of everything from leisure sport activities and competitions to workshops and cultural happenings. 

Just be ready to move! The day is a celebration of sport, open to all citizens of all ages. 

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Want to put on a successful International Day of University Sport event? #LetsIDUS

Hosting an International Day of University Sport event is an ideal way to create links between your university and your local community - all centered around sport, physical activity and healthy living. 

September 20 is the day you can be part of the worldwide movement for sport for all, but especially that taking place on the university campus. 

By putting on this FISU-endorsed event, you can rely on the best practices and opportunities learned by others that have successfully hosted one before. 

For more detailed information, contact [email protected].


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What were some of the #IDUS highlights?

Six editions of the IDUS have been held since its launch in 2016.

The 2021 International Day of University Sport included the beginning of the Flame Relay for the 2021 Winter Universiade in Lucerne.

Acting FISU President Leonz Eder was on hand to light the flame at the University of Turin.

However, rather than feature a Torch, Lucerne 2021 announced that the relay would focus on water.

The flame was used to melt ice that was decanted into a container to be taken on the relay route.

A contract was also signed for Turin to host the 2025 Winter World University Games.

In Yekaterinburg, the host of the 2023 Summer World University Games, there were celebrations to mark the start of the volunteer programme. 

The 2021 International Day of University Sport included the beginning of the Flame Relay for the 2021 Winter Universiade in Lucerne ©FISU
The 2021 International Day of University Sport included the beginning of the Flame Relay for the 2021 Winter Universiade in Lucerne ©FISU

The 2020 International Day of University Sport was largely held online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Events included an online dance competition and a "Most Active Federation" contest run by FISU America.

The German University Sports Federation and the Federation of University Sports of China both held running challenges for students, while Chinese Taipei held student workshops.

The Sri Lanka Universities Sports Association arranged a quiz.

In 2019, events to mark the International Day of University Sport took place in 87 countries.

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

In 2018, FISU marked the International Day of University Sport by announcing a new plan to get more students active. The new project, which launched in 2019, is called Healthy Campus

The 2018 International Day of University Sport featured events in Lausanne, where FISU is based, as well as across the world. 

The most high-profile event was at the University of Turin, which staged the lighting of the flame for the 2019 Torch Relay, building up to the start of the Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk.

Celebrations in Estonia on the 2017 IDUS ©FISU
Celebrations in Estonia on the 2017 IDUS ©FISU

In 2017, on the second International Day of University Sport, notable events took place in the likes of Estonia and Papua New Guinea.

China marked the day during their National Student Games, while French Sports Minister Laura Flessel invited athletes from the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade to her office to congratulate them.

Coverage of the day was also shown on Eurosport.

In 2016, when the day was marked for the first time, more than 8,500 people came out to play at University Sport Festivals.

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How to find out more about the events

For more information regarding the International Day of University Sport, contact FISU Education Services at [email protected]

Interested in finding out how to host an event in your city or at your university? Check out the International University Sports Festival Handbook by clicking here.