New Zealand team withdrawal from Chengdu 2022 World University Games
The Board of University and Tertiary Sport NZ (UTSNZ) has made the difficult decision not to send a New Zealand team to the Chengdu 2022 World University Games.
The Games scheduled to take place 26 Jun - 7 Jul 2022, was originally set for 2021 but postponed by FISU due to the global COVID-19 situation and international travel restrictions. It was also hoped that postponement would allow time to navigate the complexities that come with delivery of a global multi-sport event of this nature during a pandemic, and that improvements in the public health situation would be such that an event in 2022 would be considerably more likely to offer the formative experience that FISU aims to deliver.
Unfortunately, timing of the event, the on-going uncertainty around COVID19 and international travel requirements make planning extremely difficult and the decision to withdraw comes after consideration of the risks and additional requirements associated with the co-ordination of team entry in the midst of a pandemic.
The decision has not been made lightly, acknowledging that the FISU World University Games is valued and important multi-sport international event opportunity for a number of our National Sporting Organisations and for our student-athletes. The event providing exposure and international competition to athletes transitioning between junior to senior elite international competition, and often also a pathway for qualification for some sports, as well as development opportunities for performance team staff.
Whilst other high-performance campaigns have been able to go ahead for New Zealand teams relatively successfully, this has been with the help of government and sport sector funding and support. Without similar resource, upholding the high standard of service we aim to provide our student athletes is challenging, as is ensuring the health and safety of all involved.
UTSNZ recognises the impact of not endorsing team entry on student athletes, the Chengdu Organising Committee and our FISU family, but with this decision we hope to now turn our focus to the 2023 Games set to take place in Ekaterinburg (RUS), 8-19 August 2023.
Posted: Fri 11 Feb 2022