By Samuel Bamisebi

Not many organizations stand the test of time but since 1971, the Federation of African University Sport has not looked back and deservedly, it’s time to celebrate 50 years of existence.

The situation of things in the world owing to the pandemic has made the African body under the World governing body, FISU to set up its 50th anniversary plans to hold online with a variety of events.

FASU is arguably the oldest Continental University Sports organization with its history dating back to 1971 when 17 universities from 10 African countries met in LAGOS to form it. In honor of the 50th anniversary, a number of activities will proceed the golden jubilee celebrations which will run till December, 2021, to reflect on the past, present and future of FASU under the theme “FASU @50, history harnessing the future”.

Organizations often face barriers and difficulties especially during the baton pressing stage thus FASU saw it wise to emphasize the qualities the organization must preserve to make through another 50 years as they celebrate the golden jubilee.

“Over the last half-century, FASU has survived recessions, wars, health crises, technology and societal transformations and a whole host of other innovations and events that could have probably killed it. The next 50 will likely be even more challenging, so this milestone should be used to put a stake in the ground of how we’re prepared for what comes next. This is probably the last major anniversary where some of the people who took part in the founding of FASU are still alive.”  Mr. Hannington Musoke  – FASU Administrator.

As way of visualizing the future, the 50th anniversary will capture the insights, characters and reality of FASU’s early eras from the people who actually have firsthand knowledge so as to continue sustaining its growth. There’s a body of research that affirms that the longer an organization sustains the founder’s mentality, the longer it sustains its growth.

FASU has lined up a number of activities to commemorate this milestone including one-hour monthly online webinar and a Gala.  Join us on this celebratory journey of reviewing our past, appreciating the present and casting light in the future.

The schedule of the events are as follows:

11th August: Looking back at the journey and milestones. Casting a torch on our growth path.

20th September-IDUS: The role of students in the growth of university sports.

10th October: Live broadcast of celebrations and Gala in Kampala.

10th November: 50 years ahead, the University Sports Legacy I want to see.

8th December: How National politics has affected University Sports in Africa.

The African continent is naturally blessed with a multi-ethnic culture that has Sports and Games embedded in its core values in a fair and competitive atmosphere. Kings, clan heads, and visitors since time immemorial, were always entertained by young and energetic men in the game of wrestling, with the women and children cheering them on to success. In such gatherings, knowledge was always passed on informally from generation to generation, a sign of togetherness and unity that has inspired the growth of formal federations we now enjoy.

The vision of forming FASU can be traced as far back as 1951 when two West African Universities namely University of Ghana and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in a quest to foster brotherhood and positive competition, started a bilateral annual sporting competition. So great were their deliberations that at the 14th West Africa University Games (WAUG) held in the city of Lagos Nigeria, the idea of instituting a body to govern continental University games was tabled.