POSTED: June 30th 2014

First Master of Sport Administration class graduates from Russian International Olympic University

RIOU's first MSA graduates flank RIOU Rector Professor Lev Belousov (centre, in red) on RIOU's Sochi-based campus
RIOU's first MSA graduates flank RIOU Rector Professor Lev Belousov (centre, in red) on RIOU's Sochi-based campus

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The first class of students to undertake the Russian International Olympic University’s Olympic-focused, 10-month Master of Sport Administration programme were awarded qualifications at a ceremony Thursday.

Polish swimmer and Olympic medalist Otylia Jędrzejczak, American ice hockey player and Olympic medalist Molly Engstrom, and Botswana sprinter Obakeng Ngwigwa were among the 27 students in the inaugural class. Ten of the 27 students represented National Olympic Committees and most were sports industry employees.

Twenty scholarships, provided by the Vladimir Putin Foundation, helped support students financially, while the Bolashak Foundation helped fund two students from Kazakhstan. The Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club also awarded grants to students.

“I decided to come and study at RIOU because I have always wanted to stay in the sports industry after my career in swimming was over,” Jędrzejczak said. “The MSA course was the right choice for me as it gave me an opportunity to achieve my goals of advancing my personal knowledge of the sports industry and building up my sports management skill base. I felt myself improving in these areas every day; it was great to be developing at a fast enough speed to see your improvements.

“When our Alumni Club gets underway, it’ll be easier to network and share information about professional opportunities in the sports industry. Making contacts with new people and learning about their ideas opens new avenues. I am sure that the wider your social network, the more chances you have of using your knowledge and skills to benefit your personal growth and help develop global sports. This final goal is of course why we decided to go into the sports industry in the first place.”

Classes taught in English by Russian and international professors covered topics such as Economics of Sports and the Olympic Games, Governance, Politics, and the Olympic Movement, Research Methods in Sport Management, Sport and the Olympic Games as a Business, and Sport Marketing and Communications.

Students were given first-hand training at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, where they held meetings with members of the local organising committee. At the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, students helped the Observer Programme and Games Experience Programme in conjunction with the International Paralympic Committee Academy and the World Academy of Sport.

“I’ve learned a huge amount about the operations of the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games in my time at RIOU,” Russian graduate Ivan Belyaev said. “The practice programme during the Games absorbed all my focus and fascination and was an invaluable experience which a lot of my future competitors on the employment market simply don’t have.

“My year in Sochi has been the best year of my life so far and I have made a lot of friends. There is a great inquisitive atmosphere at RIOU amongst the students and professors, and this comes from the University’s cultural diversity. This will remain one of my lasting impressions of RIOU, as well as the Games, of course.”

Final research projects culminated the course, which began 16 September 2013. An RIOU endowment fund is being created for future students of the programme, which soon closes its application process for the Master of Sport Administration course for the 2014-15 academic year.

Keywords · RIOU · Russian International Olympic University · Sochi · Russia · Sochi 2014 · International Olympic Committee · IOC · International Paralympic Committee · IPC · Olympics · Paralympics ·

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