ANOC Secretary General, Gunilla Lindberg, spoke of ANOC's commitment to disseminating best practice amongst the NOCs of the world as she met with three international students who were selected by ANOC to receive scholarships to study the Master of Sport Administration (MSA) course at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), one of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee's flagship legacy projects.
Menéndez Jorge Mario Marroquín from Guatemala, Evelyn Hopp from the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), and Ilanga Pathiratnalage Wijeratne from the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka were all selected by ANOC to receive the Potanin Scholarship at RIOU.
Speaking from RIOU's state-of-the-art campus, Gunilla Lindberg said: "It is great to visit RIOU, speak to the students and see how they are enjoying studying at the University. ANOC is always looking to serve the NOCs by finding innovative ways of disseminating best-practice and providing scholarships to an Olympic legacy project like RIOU is an excellent way of doing that. It also gives us the chance to offer opportunities to NOCs who may otherwise find their options restricted due to limited resources.
"The experience the students are getting from studying here, particularly during Sochi 2014, is truly invaluable. Each of the students will be able to use this experience and their knowledge of best-practices to go back home and make a meaningful contribution to the future development of their National Olympic Committees and, ultimately, the Olympic Movement."
Ilanga Pathiratnalage Wijeratne said: "I am so grateful to ANOC for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is a privilege to study here and to be taught by some of the world's leading experts; for it all to have taken place in the run-up to, and during, an Olympic Games makes it even more special. As much as I am enjoying my time here, I am already looking forward to going back and sharing what I have learned with my NOC.
RIOU Rector, Professor Lev Belousov, added: "Representing 205 NOCs worldwide, ANOC has a greater reach than any other sports NGO. We are very grateful that they are allowing us to collaborate with this network by offering the world's NOCs the opportunity to study at RIOU.
"We hope to continue our collaboration with ANOC in the future in order to ensure that the best practice and knowledge acquired by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committees continues to distributed to the NOCs and future sports administrators for the advancement of the Olympic Movement."