The Vladimir Potanin Foundation has finalised the results of the Olympic Scholarships competition, which it launched in January 2014. The programme aims to provide future sport managers with the chance to receive high quality professional training at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) in Sochi. The expert council running the competition selected 20 candidates to form the basis of the second intake on RIOU's Master of Sport Administration course. Students of the first intake graduated in June 2014.
Recipients of scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year come from 13 different countries as diverse as Afghanistan, China, Columbia, Egypt, Greece, India, Ireland, Moldova, Panama, Russia, Uganda, Ukraine and Vanuatu. In the evaluation process the experts considered the applicants' professional and volunteer experience, erudition, English language competence, as well as leadership potential, motivation, initiative and enthusiasm.
‘This year's winners will carry on the tradition of internationalism and openness started by the inaugural intake of MSA students. The first group of graduates was truly brilliant. We got a whole team of ambitious and energetic professionals', - said Larissa Zelkova, CEO of the Potanin Foundation.
‘These people made their professional choice quite consciously. Many of the graduates won World and Olympic events during their sporting careers, so they have a pretty good idea of what it takes to achieve a record. Training at RIOU will definitely have a major impact on their future professional development and self-realisation. We do hope that for the new MSA students the time in Sochi will be equally fruitful and productive.'
‘I visited the RIOU campus in February 2014 and after that finally decided to apply for the Olympic Scholarships programme', - said Sánchez Robles Amed Alberto (Panama). ‘Human history offers quite a few examples of how sport can change society for the better through promoting healthy lifestyle habits. Sport teaches you to always do your best, cope with difficulties and take on new challenges, all of which are basic life values.'
RIOU's MSA programme, which will be fully taught in English, is scheduled to start in September 2014. This unique one-year course is modelled on a ‘sport MBA' and includes theory and practice of managing international events, sport organisations and high-profile sporting venues. Scholarship holders will receive financial support from the Potanin Foundation to cover tuition fees, as well as monthly stipends while they carry out their studies.