In 1996, the championship season opened with the first World University Archery Championship in Vaulx-en-Velin, France. Combining rigor and harmony, physical fitness and immense concentration, this exemplary Olympic sport was certain to attract student enthusiasm. And because it can be pursued at one's own rhythm without putting pressure on schedules, archery fits easily into the rhythm of university life.
The city of Vaulx-en-Velin was a natural candidate for this championship, given the numbers of devotees to the sport within the sphere of Lyon's regional university sports committee. In 1998 the second World University Archery Championship recorded a very high level of participation, close to that of FITA's world championships.
Archery was four times in the list of optional sports at Summer Universiades: in 2003 in Daegu, Korea; in 2005 in Izmir, Turkey; in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia; and in 2011 in Shenzhen, China, where the 2010 World University Championship took place as a test event.
The level of the World University Archery Championships has been increasing over the past years and close cooperation with World Archery ensures a nice future for archery as a FISU sport. Indeed, from 2019 onwards archery will be a compulsory sport on the Universiade programme.