Trinity Sport is delighted and proud to confirm the appointment of Trinity College Dublin Director of Sport and Physical Activity Michelle Tanner as Vice Chair to the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Gender Equality Committee.

A founding member and former Student Sport Ireland Director, and current Sport Ireland Board member, Michelle becomes the first Irish person to serve on a permanent FISU Committee.

An experienced sports leader Michelle has held prominent roles at both Irish and international sports organisations including serving a term as President of the European Network of Academic Sports Services (2013 – 2017).

A member of the FISU Gender Equality working group from 2020 to 2023 Michelle was co-author of the FISU Gender Equality Review Report whose publication in 2023 coincided with the subsequent near doubling of female representation on the FISU Executive Committee and its sub-committees.

On her appointment Michelle Tanner said “It is a great honour and privilege to be appointed as the Vice Chair to the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Gender Equality Committee. University sport, by its very nature, plays a key role as a foundation for the development of future leaders, communities, and societies. FISU continually takes concrete steps towards ensuring gender equality at its sports and education events, as well as in its governance. I want to thank the FISU family for their belief and trust in me, most notably the Gender Equality Chair Rosaura Mendez Gamboa, my co-author of the Gender Equality report Adam Pratchett, Lilia Barieva and all the FISU Executive and staff, and also for all the support from my colleagues in Student Sport Ireland and Trinity College Dublin. I am looking forward to working with FISU’s Gender Equality Committee to ensure we achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Matthew Dossett, Deputy Director of Sport and Physical Activity, Trinity College Dublin and President of Student Sport Ireland commented: “On behalf of the Student Sport Ireland Board and members I would like to congratulate Michelle on her appointment to the FISU Gender Equality Committee, which recognises the expertise and contribution which members of the University and College Sport Sector in Ireland make in leading and driving change in relation to key governance and cultural challenges impacting sport and society. Alongside our continued approach to develop the quality and breadth of domestic student sport competition and delivery, building our presence and engagement on an international level is a key action set out in SSI’s strategic plan, and Michelle’s appointment as a Vice-Chair of a standing FISU committee is a significant step in this area. SSI has continually been ahead of its peers in the wider sector in establishing best practice in relation to achieving gender balance within its board and committees, alongside its work in researching and informing programme delivery to address areas of equality and diversity, and this is testament to the work of Michelle and others in leading change and policy over the past two decades. We are delighted to see that this structure and voice will continue to have impact on University Sport at an International level, and look forward to supporting the work of Michelle and the FISU Gender Equality committee over its term”.

The FISU Gender Equality Committee advises the FISU Executive Committee on suitable policies to be developed, to encourage, support and enhance the presence of women on and off the field (i.e., participation in sports competitions and representation in sports governing bodies), with a view to implement the principle of equality between men and women, thus fully representing the values of university sport and those of our modern society worldwide.

The appointment of the seven-person committee for a four-year term to end 2027, and which includes representatives from China, Costa Rica, Ireland, Saudia Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, and the UK, was ratified by the FISU Executive Committee at its March meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.