Source: International Federation of Sport ClimbingSport Climbing is fast becoming an internationally popular and mainstream sport. This trend has been recognized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

At its Executive Committee meeting in Kazan (June 30th - July 1st, 2013), the FISU added sport climbing to their Sports Program at the World University Championships.

What are the World University Championships?

The program of the World University Championships includes 37 sports with individual/team sports, indoor/outdoor sports, mind sports and summer/winter sports. The World University Championships are a world multiple mono-sport events, since 1963.

In 2012, 28 World University Championships were being organized in four continents.

5 new cities have been recently added into the World University Championships for 2014. It brings the total number of Championships to 29 in 2014. A complete list can be found on www.fisu.net.

A unique opportunity for Sport Climbing and Athletes

In 2016, IFSC will be able to organize its first World University Championships. It represents a fantastic opportunity for both sport climbing and athletes to benefit from additional international media coverage. In fact, each World University Championships gathers thousands spectators and hundreds media, coming from the host country but also from the 5 continents. Moreover the strength of student networks will offer an amazing opportunity for sport climbing to be shared widely in the Universities worldwide, and in the same time to offer to sport climbing athletes a further source of fans!

The road for climbing to reach the World University Championships is not over. IFSC are currently looking for a city to host the event and are creating the Continental University Climbing Championships for 2015. This will help prepare for the UWCH and give continental opportunities for climbers.

Following the FISU announcement, Wolfgang Wabel, president of the IFSC European Council, and IFSC board member, representing IFSC at the FISU Executive Committee said, "We would like to thank FISU for recognizing Sport climbing's rapidly growing popularity by adding it to the Sports Program for the World University Championships. It represents a fantastic opportunity and a great honor. IFSC and sport climbing athletes are so excited to meet this challenge!"

FISU, International University Sports Federation is the governing body of international university sport.

FISU developed within university institutions to propagate sports values and promote sports practice in perfect synergy and complementarity with the university spirit.

Over 50 years, more than 300 championships have been organized, covering a large range of events (almost always different from the Universiades sports) and gathering participants from all over the world. Meant to guarantee continuity in the competition program, these championships take place on even-numbered years and experience an increasing success over the years. They allow a large number of students and university sports leaders to get together on occasions other than Universiades. In 2000, 20 World University Championships were held in different places for different sports, attracting 3,623 participants. In 2002, 24 World University Championships were held, attracting 4,228 participants from 83 countries. In 2010, 27 championships were staged, bringing together 4,431 participants. For 2012, 28 WUC were attributed.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.