FISU President Oleg Matytsin delivered a keynote speech at the conference in Estonia ©FISU

International University Sport Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin has said that tackling an increasing sedentary lifestyle of youth and rising obesity rates are goals of the organisation.

Matytsin made the assertion during a keynote address to the University Sports conference, which took place in Estonia’s student capital Tartu.

He spoke of FISU's efforts to shape the leaders of tomorrow through international university sports competitions, such as the Summer and Winter Universiades.

The Russian official’s speech came on the second day of the conference, which began fresh from the conclusion of the second International Day of University Sport, held on September 20.

Matytsin also called upon continental associations and national university sports federations to create their own strategic documents, after he presented the FISU Global Strategy.

The 10-year strategy was approved at the FISU General Assembly last month and focuses on eight key areas, including delivering major sporting events, spreading education through sport, enhancing culture, building dual career programmes and developing FISU’s global network.

Promoting sport through direct relationships with universities, further improving financial and human resources, and cooperating with international organisations have also been highlighted as aims.

Matytsin’s address featured as part of the conference titled "Sport, Education, University: Joining Efforts for Athletes’ Dual Career and Active Societies”.

Oleg Matytsin participated in a panel discussion on the dual careers of athletes ©FISU
Oleg Matytsin participated in a panel discussion on the dual careers of athletes ©FISU

The event was organised by the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the conference directly leading into the European Week of Sport.

Proceedings were officially opened with an “adventure trip”, which saw participants greeted by Volli Kalm, Rector of Tartu University.

Yves Le Lostecque, the head of the sport unit in the European Commission, and Tarvi Pürn, Undersecretary of Sport for the Estonian Ministry of Culture, were also present.

A dual career panel discussion was also held alongside the conference, with featured the FISU President alongside a host of global leaders on the subject.

German fencer Claudia Bokel, a former International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission chair, was among the participants.

Estonia’s Gerd Kanter, a discus gold medallist at Beijing 2008 and bronze medal winner at London 2012, joined Matytsin, Bokel and Kalm.

Kanter, who won a gold medal at the 2005 Summer Universiade in the Turkish city İzmir, currently heads the Athletes' Commission of the Estonian Olympic Committee

The panel reflected on how social environment, particularly coaches' interaction with athletes, influences whether an individual continues to pursue university studies during or after their peak competitive years.

The conference concluded with a speech from Indrek Saar, the Estonian Minister of Culture.