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FIFA/CIES International University Network

Venezuela: Students from the 14th UNIMET/FIFA/CIES International Programme put their new knowledge into practice

Students from the 14th UNIMET/FIFA/CIES Network Programme in Sports Management recently organised two events as part of their course studies, which began last September. Firstly, they proposed the first edition of Sports Biz Talks, a forum for learning and exchanging information and solutions for sports management in Venezuela. They then organised the VII Copa UNIMET as part of the sports event management module. Both events were a great success.

The new ‘Sports Biz Talks’ provided an opportunity to discuss topics aimed at gaining a better understanding of the global and Venezuelan sports landscape, as well as to consider measures for fostering a healthy and sustainable sports industry at a local level. For example, the staggering growth of padel in Venezuela, the development of children's tennis in the country, 'fan management' for sports such as basketball, a commitment to the healthy and sustainable management of Venezuelan football, anti-doping, the importance of leadership in sports management, adjusting expectations when planning, organising and delivering sporting events and, finally, the challenges of imitating foreign competition formats in Venezuela without taking into account the local context. Speakers included Juan Andrés Pérez (CEO, Venezuela Padel Tour), Riccardo González (CEO, Game Mind), Gustavo Arellano (Head of Commercial Development, FIBA), David Quintanilla, General Secretary of the Federación Venezolana de Fútbol, Elena Mundaray (Associate Lawyer, Laurea Lex Sportiva), Daniel Prat (Ticketing Sales Strategy and Requirements Manager, FIFA), César Collins (Liga Mayor de Beisbol) and Oswaldo Narvaez (FIBA delegate and head of the event management module).

The conference was attended by representatives from various national federations, professional and amateur clubs, competition managers, Olympic athletes, managers of commercial companies and sponsors.

A few days later, the students gathered at the sports facilities of the Universidad Metropolitana to launch the VII Copa UNIMET. Here, players from four clubs took part in the U-10 seven-a-side football tournament. They were Junquito Sport Club, Jachico FC, Cristo Te Ama and Fundación Santa Rosa.

The aim was to offer a day that combined a competitive spirit with a family atmosphere. The tournament organising committee, therefore, carefully designed an event offering a host of services and activities to ensure entertainment, fun and safety, along with catering facilities, comfortable grandstands, first-aid services, warm-up and fitness areas, friendly contests and recreational activities for parents and members of the public, analysis of players' physical performance and, last but not least, a musical atmosphere throughout the day.

Jachico FC were finally crowned champions of a competition that took place in the best possible conditions, to everyone's satisfaction.

At the end of a memorable day, those in charge of the competition declared, "We were able to put into practice the lessons of the UNIMET/FIFA/CIES International Programme. And how! The VII Copa UNIMET was an invaluable experience for participants, spectators and, of course, for the organisers too. Many thanks to the players and their families! Also, a big thank you to the people and institutions who supported us and made it possible to offer such an event to our community!"