The Foundation was formed in 2023 by the Croatian Academic Sports Federation with the goal of fostering the development of student athletes in the Republic of Croatia.
The Croatian Academic Sports Federation (CASF) is one of the five umbrella sports organization in Croatia and is the only national sports federation dedicated to academic sports on the national level. The CASF has 22 members representing institutions of higher education in the Republic of Croatia. Since 2014, CASF developed a system of organization and competitions, as well as a system that provides support to student athletes on local, national and international levels which can be favourably compared to the most modern systems of academic sports in the world.
The Foundation’s name – UniSport Heart, draws its origins in the largest project undertaken by the Croatian Academic Sports Federation in Croatia thus far, the European Universities Games Zagreb-Rijeka 2016. The Games were held in the cities of Zagreb and Rijeka between July 12th and July 25th 2016 and gathered more than 5.000 participants hailing from 403 universities from 41 European nation, while the organization effort itself counted 1.441 volunteers. The European Universities Games were important to the Republic of Croatia on multiple levels, but at its core was the organizers vision and goal, embodied in the motto “Heart believes, mind achieves”. The Games represent a catalyst for change in Croatia’s academic sports, their legacy being a more developed system of academic sports, but also the idea of forming a foundation which would aid in the further development of student standards.