From October 7 to December 7, the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi will be running a special professional development course "Sport Management" for the winners of the Bolashak International Scholarship established by Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is the first cycle of courses organised by the University as part of a cooperative effort with the Centre for International Programmes which administers the Scholarship Scheme. The course will be attended by 10 practitioners with experience of working as coaches and instructors at various Kazakhstani sport organisations, including the Federation of judo, Greco-Roman, freestyle and women's wrestling, Astana Rugby Club, School of Top Sportsmanship, Directorate for National Teams, Youth Sport School (city of Atyrau) and others. All the participants have been awarded the Bolashak scholarship in recognition of their contribution to the promotion of sport in Kazakhstan.
RIOU's "Sport Management" course will provide a unique opportunity to exchange skills, knowledge and expertise with the prospect of applying them in various socio-economic environments. The participants will receive training in the key areas of sport management: Sport Industry and the Olympic Movement, Economics of Sport, Legal Aspects of the Operation of Sport Organisations, Sport Organisation Management, Sport Marketing and Marketing Communications, Sport Facilities and Adaptive Sport, Safety Issues in Sport. The programme's main feature is the integration of Russian and international experience delivered by leading experts from Russia, the UK, France, Austria, Norway and Australia. As a key part of the course, the Kazakhstani sport managers will have practical training at Sochi's Olympic venues during the preparations for the Winter Olympics.
RIOU Rector Prof. Lev Belousov said: "It is a highly responsible mission for us – to provide professional enhancement for Kazakhstan's sport managers, winners of the Bolashak scholarship. These are people who already have professional experience, so we have developed a special syllabus for them that comprises MBA-level management subjects and combines instruction with research. The participants will study international business trends in sport, principles of public-private partnerships, and mechanisms of investment project implementation. I am convinced that the knowledge obtained at our University will give them more confidence and provide a new impetus for career and professional growth in the sport industry of the Republic that is demonstrating impressive progress".
Upon completion of their final projects, all participants will receive RIOU certificates acknowledging their participation in the Sport Management professional development programme.
The Bolashak International Scholarship was established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on November 5, 1993. The launch of the scholarship was a timely endeavour as the country had just gained independence and embarked on the path towards free market economy, democracy and legitimate integration into the world community. All of this required sweeping reforms, and any reformation process, as is well known, requires highly-qualified professionals capable of accomplishing the tasks assigned to them. Kazakhstan was the first among the CIS countries to provide its talented youth with an opportunity to get higher education abroad. The Bolashak scholarship became a kind of guarantor of the graduates' successful professional growth. This is evidenced by the fact that many of the former Bolashak students now hold responsible positions in governmental agencies, national and international organisations, and corporations. A lot of them are involved in various national and international projects, thus contributing to the development of their country. The Bolashak Presidential Scholarship Scheme is being administered by the Centre for International Programmes set up to this end on April 4, 2005. To provide best quality education, the Centre sets strict requirements to the selection of universities, research centres and laboratories for the scholarship holders. The recommended list only includes universities with top positions in world rankings. Currently, the Centre has representative offices in the UK, Germany, Russia, China and the USA. All of the Centre's staff members have university degrees, including 32 from foreign academic institutions. Twenty employees received Masters and Bachelor degrees under the Bolashak Scheme. All of them are making a significant contribution to developing competencies in the sphere of education. In 2013 the Bolashak Scholarship Scheme marks its 20th anniversary. Since the launch of the programme, 9959 scholarships have been awarded to Kazakhstani students. As of 1 March 2012, the number of graduates totaled 5760. In September 2013, 2436 Bolashak students were studying in 33 countries across the world. These figures serve to show that the Bolashak Scheme provides a social lift to its participants, ensuring professional growth and career development. Currently, 20% of the programme graduates are engaged in the public sector, 21 % work in national companies and companies with state participation, 55% - in private companies, and 4% of the former Bolashak students are employed by international and non-governmental organisations.