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  • Sarah Lewis

Springboard to exciting start of 2023 at FISU

The main thrust of my time over the past two months has been spent onboarding and preparing for my new role as the International University Sports Federation, FISU Deputy Secretary General and Chief Operating Officer as from 1st January 2023, which was officially announced in November. It is important for me to be able to hit the ground running and contribute to FISU's full-on and varied programme of activities developing the University Sports Movement.


Sessions during the past weeks have including meeting the 10 Departments comprising all the FISU Staff, along with an excellent Lunch&Learn presented by the Education & Healthy Campus, and Archives & Research Departments. The online meeting of the Member National University Sports Federation rounded off pre-year end meetings, with the focus now fixed on the upcoming Lake Placid 2023 World University Games 2023.

The last month of 2022 began in a special way with the International Federation (IF) Forum reconvening for the first time in person in three years with old and new colleagues and friends. The Olympic Museum was the perfect venue to come together to address and share our views on the important governance topics of Safe Sport and Sustainable Development.


Immediately after the IF Forum the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) Extraordinary General Assembly took place and voted for the dissolution of the organisation, which will see the IFs future together governed through a restructured SportAccord.

A full week in Lausanne concluded with the 20-year anniversary of the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS), fellow residents and friends at the University of Lausanne's wonderful offices, Synathlon and my future home of the International University Sports Federation, FISU. I was part of the steering group that created the framework for the original Sport Event Management and Organisation Seminar (SEMOS) in 2001, the short form module which evolved into the full AISTS course under the stewardship of fellow alpine skier and friend Dr. Claude Stricker

I enjoyed attending the World Olympians Association OLY virtual end of year get together and met up with the WOA Vice President Pernilla Wiberg, legendary alpine skiing champion:

Online activities continued, when I presented to the quarterly Portus Consulting Women's Network call with emerging female executives in the Dubai, Singapore and London Offices: The changing landscape of being a female leader in sports business.

Onto to London and the big freeze for various meetings between the train strikes including the leadership team at iSportConnect before joining the Leaders in Sport Business Festive Drinks.


The week before Christmas included a very productive online meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) Fit for Life Working Groups, led by Chief of the Sport Sector Philipp Müller-Wirth where I participated as an expert observer. Working Group I is focused on "Sport Counts" with

Working Group II on "Sport Cares". The integration of sport into Government policy and actions is extremely meaningful for the future of a healthy society.

The Opening Ceremony of the Lake Placid 2023 World University Games 2023 takes place on 12th January 2023 and the Organising Committee are in overdrive supported by the FISU Winter Games Department and Service Teams.

From now on my social media activity will focus on FISU and our full and varied programme developing the University Sport Movement. I have long admired the work of FISU and am thrilled to have a chance to contribute to the long-term leadership of an organisation which is clearly so important in helping shape so many young lives.




I wish you all a happy, healthy, harmonious and exciting New Year 2023.

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