Featured Event:  27th World University Games (7th – 17th July 2013)

Student Sport Ireland is the governing body for third level sport in Ireland and coordinates Irish student athlete participation at the World University Games.

About Student Sport Ireland: Student Sport Ireland (formerly CUSAI) is the governing body for third level sport on the island of Ireland. The organisation’s mission is to promote and develop third level sport in Ireland. Its vision is to work in partnership with national and international bodies identifying pathways for college communities to participate, compete and develop through sport and physical activity.

Student Sport Ireland sets out to meets its mission and WUG team IREvision through the coordination and implementation of key programmes ranging from increasing levels of physical activity amongst its student population (Partners in Participation programme), facilitating intercollegiate and national sports competitions (SSI Leagues and Intercollegiate Event of the Year Award) and high performance international events and competitions (World University Games, World University Championships, European University Games and the European University Championships).

Student Sport Ireland members include over 30 affiliated universities and colleges representing over 200,000 students on the island of Ireland. The organisation is housed at Irish Sport HQ in Blanchardstown, Dublin along with 18 other national governing bodies of sport.

The Event: The 27th World University Games.

Location: Kazan, Russia (800k east of Moscow)

Date: 7th – 17th July 2013

About the Event: The World University Games is an international sporting and cultural festival which is staged every two years in a different city. It is only second to the Olympic Games. The Summer Universiade consists of 10 compulsory sports with 13 compulsory disciplines and up to 3 optional sports chosen by the host country. The record figures are 10,622 participants in Shenzhen, China, in 2011 and 174 countries in Daegu, Korea, in 2003.

Embracing the motto of ‘Excellence in Mind and Body’, the World University Games incorporates educational and cultural aspects into 12 days of sports competitions, allowing university student-athletes from all over the world to celebrate with the host city in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship.

During the recent Kazan Games a total of 11,778 student athletes participated in 27 sports held in 64 sports venues with 351 sets of medals awarded.

Julie-Ann Russell in action against Jiexin Zhang 5/7/2013Over 19,970 volunteers helped stage the 2013 World University with approximately 150,000 visitors.

The 2013 University Games were broadcast by more than 100 TV channels with the organisers indicating that more than 1 billion and 1.5 billion people watched the Opening and Closing Ceremonies respectively.

Team Ireland: A delegation of 83 travelled to participate at the University Games earlier this month. The delegation included 56 athletes, 16 team officials, 5 medical personnel, 3 administrative staff, one football referee and a photographer. The Team Ireland delegation was led by Head of Delegation Cathy Gallagher (Trinity College Dublin) and Assistant Head of Delegation Neasa Fahy O’Donnell (University of Limerick) who were attending their 6th and 3rd World University Games respectively.

Irish athletes competed in the 10m Air Rifle, Athletics, Gymnastics, Men’s Football, Rowing, Swimming and Women’s Football competitions.

Please follow this link to view the Team Ireland Delegation in full: 2013 World University Games Team Ireland.

How the Event Went:

Team Ireland enjoyed an extremely successful 2013 World University Games. Limerick swimmer and University of Calgary student Fiona Doyle secured a brilliant silver medal in the 100m Breaststroke and came within 0.01 seconds (it takes longer to blink) of a bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke.

Additional outstanding achievements at the Games included

  • 5 new national senior swimming records  – 4 by Andrew Meegan (University of Limerick) and 1 by Fiona Doyle;


  • Qualification to the final of their respective events/disciplines by 11 athletes:

i.        Amy Foster (University of Ulster) – 5th in the 100m final;

ii.        Andrew Meegan (University of Limerick)  – 7th in the 1500m freestyle;

iii.        Brian Gregan (Dublin City University)  – 5th in the 400m final;

iv.        Chris Bryan (University of Limerick) – 7tJessie  Barr 8/7/2013h in the 10k Open Water Swim;

v.        Claire Tarplee (Loughborough University) – 8th in the 1500m;

vi.        Fiona Doyle (University of Calgary) – 2nd in the 100m Breaststroke and 4th in the 50m Breaststroke;

vii.        Jessie Barr (University of West England) – 6th in the 400m hurdles;

viii.        Laura Reynolds (Dublin City University) – 6th in the 20k walk;

ix.        Michelle Finn (University of Western Kentucky) – 7th in the 3k Steeplechase;

x.        Monika Dukarska (IT Tralee) – 4th in the Women’s Single Sculls and

xi.        Tomás Cotter (Wichita State University) – 10th in the 3k Steeplechase.


  • Commendable 5th and 6th placing for our men’s and women’s football teams.

However undoubtedly the most successful aspect of the 2013 World University Games was the spirit of togetherness and one for all generated by Team Ireland during the games and which was so expertly fostered by Cathy Gallagher and Neasa Fahy O’Donnell as Head of Delegation and Assistant Head of Delegation respectively. The 82 members of Team Ireland have now gone their separate ways and while they will never again come together as one they share the brilliant memories of the Kazan World University Games.

To view a detailed breakdown of the Team Ireland results please follow this link: 2013 World University Games Results.

Finally to view a sample of photographs by Cathal Noonan (Inpho) please follow this link: 2013 World University Games Gallery.

What Next for Student Sport Ireland?

September sees the organisation implement an exciting prPaul Malone 5/7/2013omotional campaign to introduce the new Student Sport Ireland brand, logo and web site to our affiliated members’ 200,000 or so students. The promotional campaign will reflect the new brand’s sense of energy and activity of student sport and lead to increased awareness of, and input to, the organisation and its work, in the coming months and years by students.

In October SSI coordinates the 2nd Annual Student Networking Event which provides third level student sports club administrators the opportunity to network with their peers and to receive valuable information, guide lines, best practice and tips on developing their club and organising student sports events.

Early November sees the return of the Student Sport Ireland Intercollegiate leagues across eight sports including badminton, hockey, karting, pool, men’s rugby, netball, volleyball and women’s rugby. The leagues run right through to the end of March with approximately 2,000 students participating across the eight sports.

For more information on Student Sport Ireland you can visit their website here