This move will see eight events for men and eight for women: the single sculls, the double sculls, the pair, the four, the eight, the lightweight single sculls, the lightweight double sculls and the lightweight four. Each country can have a maximum of one crew per event.

Up until 2015, there had been five women’s events on the rowing programme, compared to eight men’s events. In 2016, an additional women’s event was added, the women’s pair, to reach a total of six women’s events. Now, gender equality has been reached.

Kristopher Grudt, a member of the World Rowing Federation, FISA’s Umpiring Commission and also a FISU (International University Sports Federation) Technical Delegate for rowing explains how gender-equality was reached: “Earlier this year, FISU solicited FISA’s input on the programme for the FISU Rowing World University Championships. FISA recommended a gender-balanced programme to FISU. Since gender equity is a goal of both organisations, FISU accepted the programme without a problem.”

Held every two years over two days of racing, the FISU World University Rowing Championships were last held in September of 2016 in Poznan, Poland. A total of 338 athletes competed, 229 of them men. In 2014, the championships were held in Gravelines, France, with 338 athletes participating, including 109 women.

At the World Rowing level, a new World Championship porgramme presenting full gender equality was approved by the 2017 FISA Congress by 95.8 per cent of the voters. The programme brings gender equality across all events at World Rowing level and can be seen in detail here.

In 2018, the World University Rowing Championships will be held in Asia for the first time. Staged in Shanghai, China, from 10 to 12 August the championships will take place at the Shanghai Water Sports Centre, located 50km from the centre of the city.

FISU was officially founded in 1949 and it now organises championship events in nearly 40 sports with the aim to promote university sport around the world. Rowing was first included on the FISU World Championship programme in 1984 and it was also included as an optional sport at several of FISU’s Summer Universiades.

The combination of studying and rowing is not uncommon and many rowers speak about the balance it takes to do both. Despite the challenge, many rowers find that each activity gives them a break from the other.

For more information about the 2018 World University Rowing Championships, please click here.