Volleyball players

115 years of tradition, nearly 40,000 members and dozens of ongoing projects each year. This is how the Academic Sports Association, the largest sports association in Poland, looks in numbers. Its other success is its place among the Forbes Diamonds winners.

Fitness in sports is very important, and the condition of Polish companies is determined by the prestigious „Forbes Diamonds” ranking. It was created on the basis of the Swiss method of valuation of companies, which takes into account, among other things, property and income criteria, awarding a positive credibility rating. AZS was included in this noble group for the first time. We were recognized primarily for the extraordinary dynamism and efficiency of our value growth.

For the valuation of Forbes Diamonds 2024, official data from 2018-2022 were used, taking into account, among other things, the level of sales, net profit, value of fixed assets, inventories, receivables and investment expenditures. The purpose of the ranking is to identify the most dynamically developing Polish companies in a given region.

Academic sports in Poland can trace its roots back to before World War I. Currently, there are 16 centers across the country. Students are associated in almost 180 university clubs and more than 3,000 sports sections across the country. More than 35,000 people participate in intercollegiate games alone. These numbers are impressive, especially as the number of students at universities is shrinking.

According to the president of the Academic Sports Association, the current situation of the AZS is very good in terms of content, finances, as well as organization. – On the one hand, this is the result of an excellent team of people working and cooperating with the AZS at both the central and local levels. We also cooperate well with clubs and associations. No the good situation of AZS is also influenced by cooperation with the authorities of Polish universities. My colleagues-rectors overwhelmingly believe that academic sports play an important role in academic life, and they even have some things in common. In both cases, in order to achieve success, one must firstly have dreams, secondly have passion, thirdly be consistent in realizing those dreams and fourthly be able to pick oneself up from failure. Academic sports also connect and help build relationships that are important in professional life, and we have many examples of this both in Poland and abroad. Not insignificant for the good functioning of AZS is the support we receive from two ministries that are important to us: Education and Science and Sports and Tourism. We also have a business sponsor, the PZU Group, which is perfectly in line with the development of academic sports. I am convinced that, as a result of this cooperation, PZU will have access to excellent employees coming from AZS. Despite the decline in the number of students, AZS is not suffering from a decline in membership, with the exception of the covid period,” assesses Prof. Alojzy Nowak, President of the Academic Sports Association and rector of the University of Warsaw.

The flagship project of the Academic Sports Association is the Academic Championships of Poland, organized in 35 disciplines. A steadily growing program is the AZS Integrative Polish Championships. A number of activities are also conducted for children and young people and for seniors.

Many of these events would not have a proper setting and organizational level if it were not for volunteers. Currently, some of them are already leaders in their communities and AZS clubs. – We look at AZS mainly through the prism of athletes, because the goal of AZS is to develop academic sports in as many disciplines and at many levels as possible. We are also an important resource for professional sports and the Olympic team. In fact, our association is much more than that. After all, many scientists, businessmen, politicians and local government officials come from the AZS. Our athletes are excellent doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. We are therefore a great resource and a forge of talent. Business already knows this, and that is why, among other things, they want to cooperate with us and support our athletes to reach out to them as their employees in the future. We see this too, and on the one hand we want to support our athletes in achieving sports success, and on the other hand in gaining thorough knowledge. Hence our support and upholding of the two-track development program for azetesians. As far as I am aware, they perform excellently in all the activities mentioned,” says the AZS president.

A total of 31 universities are benefiting from the Ministry’s National Academic Team program, which supports the combination of sports and education. The fourth edition of the project has allocated a record 12 million zlotys for this purpose. Recently, the Academic Sports Association also became the operator of the ministerial program to popularize shooting in 2023-2025. In 2020, the AZS Foundation was established to popularize sports in various social groups.

Many initiatives would not happen without subsidies, but AZS also tries to attract business partners. – We are an academic association. Grants and competing for them, both domestically and abroad, and with various grantors, is our daily bread. In fact, we have great success here. This is the result of the great substantive knowledge of AZS staff and associates, but also the importance of the subject and subject of funding. Business support is equally important. So far we have managed to get PZU, earlier there was also Lotos. After the organizational changes, we started talks with the new owner of Lotos. However, this will take a while. We are also talking to international business, including those operating in Poland. It is only a matter of time to get other sponsors as well. After all, the AZS brand is an international commodity, recognizable on every continent. We are awarded by both the world and European federations of academic sports, and our members are on the authorities of these organizations. Not without significance is also the human capital in AZS, very well educated and prepared to perform the most demanding tasks. I am in this matter and calm and a big optimist,” adds Prof. Dr. Alojzy Nowak.

Student athletes at the 2023 Summer Universiade in Chengdu won a record 43 medals. They did equally well in the winter in Lake Placid, reaching for 17 rings. During the Tokyo Games, AZS athletes won 9 of the 14 Polish medals. The pantheon of AZS stars includes many well-known names, starting with Halina Konopacka to contemporary stars like Kajetan Duszynski and Tokyo rowers Maria Sajdak, Agnieszka Kobus-Zawojska and Katarzyna Zillmann. The list will grow even longer after the Paris Games.


  • Men on the gym
  • Women running on field
  • Volleyball team
  • Volleyball players
  • PZU meeting