Dear officials, athletes and students,
I am delighted that the DGIST World-class University Rowing Festival will take place for the fifth time from 21st to 25th August in the province of Daegu. This event is a wonderful opportunity for students from all over the world to meet and compete under united teams, building trust and sharing crucial values, such as commitment and fair play.
In Swiss society, sport, as a mean to maintain a healthy life, is always considered in connection with the respect of the environment. Rowing in particular receives high attention every year thanks to the World Rowing Cup III hosted by the City and Canton of Luzern.
Swiss interest is not limited to the practice of the sport, but it also connected to the development of instruments for the improvement of performances and security. Rowing in particular is a rear facing motion, which often results in dangerous accidents for athletes. Leading from this observation, the Design and Technology Lab of ETH Zürich and the Zürich School of Arts developed the first intuitive navigation aid for rowers. ROWCUS is the result of technology transfer capacity of the two universities. It consists in a system comprising a proximity sensor to monitor what is ahead and a haptic feedback chest-belt to let the rower intuitively feel where to go. An example of how passion for sport and cutting edge research converge in the Swiss approach.
The DGIST World-class University Rowing Festival, hosted every year within the scenic setting of the Nakdong River, shows how passion for rowing is part of the soul of the local community and, combined with the role of higher education institutions, promotes team sport and related values through the young generation of students.
I wish the best of luck and a fascinating competition to all organizers and participants, including the Swiss students from the ETH Zürich Rowing Team.