National university sports leader

The University of Minho Student Union (AAUM) was founded in 1977, following University of Minho students’ demands and needs. It is known as being managed by students for students. AAUM was the second Portuguese association to receive the government title of Institution of Public Utility. Nowadays, it is one of the biggest student unions in the country, with two headquarters, one in each University of Minho campi: Gualtar (Braga) and Azurém (Guimarães). The students union is composed by several departments such as Cultural, Administrative, Informatics and Sport amongst others, with the intention of assisting students in many different ways. Sport is an important department, considering the fact that in Portugal, national University sport competition is based on student union representations. AAUM has led the Portuguese University Sport national ranking many years with several national titles and with University of Minho students having taken part in FISU, EUSA and other international events. As an organisation partner, the University of Minho Student Union has assisted the University of Minho and the National University Sports Federation (FADU) with the EUSA 2004 Volleyball and 2006 Basketball European Universities Championships and FISU 1998 Futsal and 2008 Badminton World University Championships. Since 2006, four-years running, UMinho handball team has finished in 2nd place at the European Universities Championships in Handball winning the first points for Portugal in the European University Ranking. In 2008, UMinho student José Fernandes achieved the first ever individual Gold medal won by a Portuguese athlete at EUSA events, winning the -67kg EUC Taekwondo title in Moscow (Russia). During 2009/2010 Academic year, athletes and teams representing AAUM collected a total of 45 medals in National University Championships and 8 medals in European Universities Championships, with participation in 6 European Championships. In total, thirteen National University Champion titles were given to the University of Minho Students Union in this last year. University of Minho finished 3rd in the EUSA Ranking for 2010, amongst 296 Universities from 31 countries.