FISU launched its initiative to promote healthy campuses in 2020 ©FISU

The University of Alabama in Huntsville has become the first educational institution in North America to receive the International University Sport Federation (FISU) Healthy Campus gold certification.

"This significant achievement reflects the University of Alabama's dedication to fostering a healthier campus community and serves as a testament to the institution's commitment to the well-being of its students, faculty, and staff," Alabama University President Dr Charles Karr said.

"The university's Gold Certification from the Healthy Campus programme sets a new standard for excellence in campus health and wellness initiatives across North America."

Karr also hailed the contribution of assistant professor Noemi Zaharia who "played a pivotal role in coordinating the campus-wide initiative".

Zaharia won five gold medals in swimming at the 1987 FISU World University Games in Zagreb.

She was later a silver and bronze medallist in the individual medley at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, competing for her native Romania.

Some 100 universities have registered with the FISU scheme since it was launched in 2020,

FISU have promoted their Healthy Campus programme worldwide ©FISU
FISU have promoted their Healthy Campus programme worldwide ©FISU

The FISU scheme has been designed to focus on healthy campus management with core themes of physical activity and sport, nutrition, disease prevention, mental and social health, risk behaviour, environment, sustainability and social responsibility.

Alabama joins seven other universities worldwide listed by FISU as holders of the gold certification.