After a 2-year break due to Covid-19, the largest regional student sports event SELL
Student Games in 14 sports took place in Riga, the capital of Latvia.
This year, the event was relatively smaller due to both the uncertainty of epidemiological security and
the war in Ukraine. But the most important thing was to resume student sports
competitions, inspiring students, sports clubs, federations, and other competition
XXXVII SELL Student Games were attended by more than 1,200 students, not only from
traditional SELL countries Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (Suomi, Eesti, Latvija,
Lietuva), but also Universities from Slovakia.
XXXVII SELL Student Games were supposed to take place in Riga already in 2021, but they
were canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions. In 2022, Covid-19 continued to influence the
competition process due to uncertainty, but the situation in Ukraine affected the situation even
more, so students from Russia and Belarus, who had previously participated in the SELL
student competition in large numbers, could no longer participate in the competition. This year,
for obvious reasons, universities from Ukraine did not participate either. Delegations in many
countries were afraid to send their student teams so close to the Russian border, and in many
places student sports have not yet recovered from Covid-19.
The first SELL Student Games took place in 1923 in Tartu, Estonia. Next year SELL Student
Games mark its centenary. In 2023, SELL Student Games will take place in the Estonian city of
Tartu, just like 100 years ago.
14 sports in Riga, including two new tournaments
XXXVII SELL Student Games in Rīga included 14 sports: volleyball and beach volleyball,
basketball and 3×3 basketball, football 7×7, floorball, badminton, table tennis, powerlifting,
athletics, swimming, judo, orienteering, and chess.
The Latvian organizers of the SELL Student games took the opportunity to supplement the
program with 3×3 basketball, which is especially popular in Latvia after the Latvian team won
gold medals in 3×3 basketball at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Latvian Badmithnon
Federation supplemented 5 individual Badmithnon disciplines with a team tournament in the
Badminton 100 relay format.
“SELL Student Games are special in that they unite not only athletes but also people who really
care about education and who strive for growth in various fields, not just sports. These people
unite young people who shape and will continue to shape our future,” Anita Muižniece, the
Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, wished the participants of SELL Student games.
The Minister also highlighted the history of SELL Student Games, noting that the world has
changed considerably, but the athletic spirit and desire to strive for the highest peaks in sport
has not disappeared.
“I am really glad that after a two-year break, the SELL Student Games are taking place again.
This is a time when the sport is being used as a “weapon” by individual countries, so it is particularly
important that sports and SELL Student Games unite countries and strengthen their relations.
Student games play an important role in strengthening relations between Finland, Lithuania,
Estonia and Latvia. It is very important to be united in these circumstances, so I am glad that
SELL Student Games are taking place in Latvia this year,” wished the Minister of Education and
Science of Latvia Anita Muižniece.
FISU (Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire) Vice President Marian Dimalski
also highlighted the ability of the competition to unite students, which has strengthened
cooperation between universities and sports federations over several decades. “Every year
SELL Student Games become more and more impressive and next year the 100th anniversary
will be celebrated,” Dimalskis emphasized.
At the opening ceremony, the President of the Latvian Olympic Committee Žoržs Tikmers
pointed out that the two years spent in the Covid-19 crisis have not been easy and have had an
impact on the sport. The President of the Latvian Olympic Committee also praised the
achievements of the Latvian University Sports Federation, as it is far from easy to bring together
more than 1,200 athletes from different countries.
“Sport and education are our passion. Youth, strength, determination, and daring, together with
sport and education, are the things that allow us to fully realize ourselves in life,” summed up by
Agita Ābele, the president of the Latvian University Sports Federation and Head of the
XXXVII SELL Student Games Organizing Committee
Latvijas Augstskolu sports savienība ir noslēgusi 18.05.2022. līgumu Nr. SKV-I-2022/144 ar Latvijas Investīciju un attīstības aģentūru par atbalsta saņemšanu pasākuma “Starptautiskās konkurētspējas veicināšana” ietvaros, ko līdzfinansē Eiropas Reģionālās attīstības fonds.