The President of the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball), Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, reinforced his commitment to developing future leaders in sport when he gave a guest lecture at the Russian International Olympic University here in Sochi on Friday, just hours ahead of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony.
President Graça held a Q&A session with 27 students from the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), one of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee's key legacy projects, discussing the role of the FIVB with students from 14 different countries studying on the institution's inaugural Masters of Sport Administration (MSA) course. Dr. Graça covered a wide range of current topics including how the FIVB is embracing changes in technology and the sports industry, and the ways in which this can benefit the wider Olympic Movement.
Brazilian Graça was elected as FIVB President in September 2012, almost exactly a year before RIOU opened its doors to students for the first time. He told the students that the FIVB aims to continue taking a central role in the Olympic Movement with thought leadership and best practice that can be passed on to the next generation.
After addressing the students President Graça said: "As President of an International Federation, it is my role to help ensure the next generation, the sport leaders of tomorrow, receive the best possible education.
"I was honoured to share my knowledge, experience and opinions with the MSA students today, and it was a privilege to be invited by Professor Belousov, RIOU's Rector, to their state-of-the-art campus in the centre of Sochi. RIOU has a key role to play in shaping the legacy of the Sochi 2014 Games, and the FIVB is looking forward to future collaboration between our two sporting establishments."
RIOU was founded in October 2009 and its flagship MSA course is unique in sports education. The 10-month course is structured to mix the latest sports management teaching with practical experience of working with organisers at major sports events, such as the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. RIOU is also the guardian of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games Archive.
RIOU Rector, Professor Lev Belousov, said: "We are delighted that President Graça has joined us today for a Q&A session with our MSA students. As the students are now halfway through their course, they are very well informed about the industry, and the Q&A has been a great opportunity for them to test what they have learnt with President Graça. We are grateful to President Graça for his honest and professional answers. His participation, as an international sport leader, has been very valuable to us.
"I have no doubt that, under the direction of President Graça, volleyball has an exciting and innovative future ahead."