The Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) today welcomed its fourth intake of students for its acclaimed flagship Master of Sport Administration course. Students from 15 different countries and 17 regions in Russia representing National Olympic Committees and sports industry organisations will commence their studies on 19 September. This number includes a representative from the International University Sports Federation (FISU) for the first time after RIOU agreed a Memorandum of Cooperation with FISU at SportAccord Convention in April.
The course, which is based in Sochi, offers students a course structure designed by distinguished Russian and international sports management experts and delivered by an international faculty, including world-class experts from 10 countries. It will be delivered in two language versions, English and Russian, as well as in the distance-learning format.
This year’s international intake come from 15 different countries (including Russia, Kazakhstan, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovakia, Finland, Thailand, India, China [Taiwan], Nigeria and Swaziland). The majority of the students will be financially supported in their studies by scholarships from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation. The scholarship holders include candidates nominated by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), representatives of National Olympic Committees and International Federations, including FISU, and former athletes such as Malaysian diver and three-time Olympian Bryan Nickson Lomas and Irish wrestler John Devin Frawley.
Students on the Russian language version of the MSA course hail from Kazakhstan, Belarus and 17 regions of the Russian Federation. Some of them have been awarded grants from the Russian Sports Industry and the Bolashak Charitable Foundation of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Among the student group are important Russian athletes, including ski jumping champion Ilya Aliluev; multiple winner of international and national athletics championships Nelly Verkhovenko; Russian Cup winner in mixed relay Angelina Marochkina and national snowboard championships medallist Maria Sheven.
RIOU Rector Professor Lev Belousov said: “This year’s cohort is yet further proof of the strong reputation our university enjoys within the Olympic family and the sports business education field. I am delighted at the quality of students we are getting. Many of them have had solid sporting careers and have accomplished impressive achievements. Their experiences will surely add to the richness of the learning within the MSA class, which contains students from all backgrounds with a strong desire to succeed in the sports industry. I am confident that RIOU’s multicultural atmosphere, highly acclaimed faculty, intensive curriculum, internships at Olympic venues, international sporting events and offices of sports industry organisations will help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.”
RIOU’s MSA course has received widespread praise within the Olympic Movement and the international sports community, who recognise its role in equipping the next generation of sports managers with both the strategic and operational skills needed to succeed.
FISU President Oleg Matytsin said: “The Russian International Olympic University’s MSA course provides an unparalleled immersive educational experience for students in an Olympic Games host city. RIOU’s educational approach is well balanced: it ensures that the teaching of key industry skills goes hand-in-hand with gaining practical experience at sports events and learning how Olympic values can be integrated into day-to-day sports operations. Spreading the Olympic spirit and values is a crucial component of the course and this is something that FISU wholeheartedly supports.
“I would like to express our deepest gratitude to RIOU for extending this wonderful opportunity to students from our National University Sports Federations. This is the first year FISU has sent a candidate to study at RIOU, following the partnership agreement we signed in April 2016. We have established an efficient selection process to choose the best representative from our National University Sports Federations and are delighted to announce Ivo Pereira from Portugal as FISU’s recipient of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation scholarship. We strongly believe the knowledge and skills gained at RIOU will allow Ivo to make an extremely positive contribution to the Olympic Movement."
RIOU’s MSA students will study modules including Economics of Sports and the Olympics; Governance, Policy and the Olympic Movement; Research Paradigms in Sports Management; the Business of Sports and the Olympic Games; and Sports Marketing and Communications.