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RIOU welcomes the new MSA cohort including representatives of NOCs and sports industry organisations from 16 countries

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The Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) is welcoming its fifth intake of students for its internationally recognised flagship Master of Sport Administration (MSA) course, which aims to train the next generation of versatile managers with both strategic and operational skills needed to manage sports organisations, events and venues in any economic environment. The course, which will commence on 25 September in Sochi, draws on the richness and diversity of the Olympic legacy transformed into an original and innovative educational product. Instruction will be delivered in two language versions, English and Russian, as well as in the distance-learning format.

This year’s intake come from 15 different countries (China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Finland, Ghana, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Paraguay, Russia, Spain, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda). The majority of the students will be financially supported in their studies by scholarships from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation. The new cohort have solid sports and management backgrounds including work within the Olympic Movement, sports federations, football clubs, non-governmental organisations and the fitness industry. The scholarship holders include candidates nominated by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), International University Sports Federation (FISU), International Tennis Federation (ITF), and National Olympic Committees of Kazakhstan, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Students on the Russian language version of the MSA course hail from Belarus and 16 regions of the Russian Federation. For the first time the group includes students supported by scholarships from the Russian Olympians Foundation. Among them are multiple Russian all-around champion and double European champion in artistic gymnastics Sergey Khorokhordin; Russian champion in special slalom and international medallist Anna Sorokina; multiple Russian and international champion and medallist in athletics Vasily Dergunov.

RIOU Rector Professor Lev Belousov said: “This year’s intake demonstrate the level of international recognition that RIOU enjoys within the Olympic family and the sports business education sector.  Our reputation for quality has been recently confirmed by SportBusiness International’s Postgraduate Course Rankings which placed RIOU’s MSA 2nd among European universities and 10th in the world. And it’s only natural that our geographic outreach has expanded to 8 more countries, making the total of 48. Many thanks to the Vladimir Potanin Foundation whose support is enabling talented young people from across the world to receive top quality education”. 

Mr. Belousov also expressed gratitude to the Russian Olympians Foundation which set up a scholarship programme this year to support RIOU students. He added: “When RIOU was created, one of the goals we set ourselves was to help ex-athletes ‘reset’ their careers and continue their involvement with sport in a new capacity. The Russian Olympians Foundation, dedicated to assisting retired athletes with their transition to life after sport, is now offering such important opportunities”.        

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. The course will be delivered by distinguished Russian and international experts and professors from leading universities and centres for Olympic studies from across the world. Special emphasis will placed on practical training and internships. 

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