The Chengdu 2021 World University games which was previously scheduled to have started at this time but was postponed due to several measures still required for sports participation across the globe.
It is therefore one year till the postponed date in 2022 for the 31st Universiade to take place in China.
The federation of African university Sports (FASU) and its National University sports federations would have taken part in the games had the date remained for this year, thought their readiness and the fitness of the athletes would have been questionable considering the largely inactive 2020 the whole world had in sports.
But with an extra 365 days to the games in Chengdu, how ready are African university sports bodies and its athletes to face the rest of the world?
Sports Returns to African Universities
Schools were shut down, events postponed and a new wave of online activities was introduced in the African university sports system which resulted in the first African University Mind sports event in June 2020.
But we are glad sports has returned to our schools and athletes are beginning to regain lost grounds and some event excel.
Glitzsport has reported various university sports events held in different parts of the continent since the turn of the year 2021, with the Higher institution football league in Nigeria kicking off its 3rd season, the South African University Sports championships which produced new records, First Beach volleyball championship in Libya and a host of other events.
The return of active sports to our universities means that student athletes who lay dormant all through 2020 due to the pandemic are back on the fields mastering their trade. This also marks the return to normalcy to our university system.
Athletes Have a huge Say
For some like Ferdinand Omanyala who would not have qualified for the Olympics had it been held in 2020, is delighted to represent his country at the 100m/200m at the Tokyo Olympic Games. He and several other university students will join the rest of the world’s university sports contingent that will fly the flags of their country when the tournament begins.
The African students have picked up like nothing happened and the goal remains to make a difference.
Kristen Paton from the University of Johannesburg describes the competition in South African sports as intense and helpful as this has resulted great performance starting from the lower rungs up to the university level and even beyond.
Chengdu Ready to host
The city of Chengdu is ready to host the world as test events have been carried out across various facilities scheduled to host the Universiade in one year.
Championships have been held in various sport like Basketball, Wushu, Taekwondo, Rhythmic gymnastics and others as the city gauges its readiness to host the world.
Travel has also been made easier with the new airport in Chengdu which officially began functions on 27th of June 2021. This means that After Beijing and Shanghai, Chengdu becomes the 3rd Chinese city who owns 2 international airports.
In an official statement, FISU says 2022 was already expected to be an exciting year, with an extensive list of FISU World University Championships and FISU University World Cups scheduled throughout the year. And adding Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games to next year’s sport calendar has lifted the whole thing to another level – not to mention the educational events also hosted by FISU throughout the year.