Press Room

The Fourth Graduation Ceremony in the Sochi Olympic University

The Fourth Graduation Ceremony in the Sochi Olympic University

The fourth graduation ceremony of Sports Managers was held in the International Olympic University in Sochi. 50 students from all over the world completed their course of supplementary vocational education and received diplomas of Master of Sport Administration. Among them are 18 students selected for the Olympic Scholarship Program of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, who got scholarships for studying in the RIOU.

Professor Lev Belousov, Rector of the RIOU, addressed the graduates at the official ceremony: “I have witnessed graduation ceremonies for more than 35 years: at first at the Moscow State University, and now at this young University. One would think I should have become accustomed to it in these years, but every time I catch myself thinking that this is not true. Every ceremony is so emotional! First of all it is sad to part ways with you, we have been through fire and water together, and now you are flying away. At the same time I am happy for you, as today you open new possibilities in your life. I would like to mention that this year our flagship program was included into a reputable ranking by the Sport Business International magazine. By a set of criteria, including feedback from our graduates, the MSA program was acknowledged one of the best sports management programs in Europe and the whole world. We have managed to get ahead of such countries as the UK, France and Germany. This is why I am sure that our today’s graduates will be in great demand and will build outstanding careers in one of the most exiting fields – the sports industry.”

Address by Lev Belousov, Rector

The ROIU Rector mentioned that close friendship between people of different nationalities from various continents starts in the University. “You have become friends and this is another resource. It is especially true for those who received scholarships from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, as you join a cohort of the Foundation Fellows spread all over the world. Finding yourself anywhere in the world and contacting the Fellows, you will always receive support and assistance.”

Yuliya Sukhenko

Yuliya Sukhenko, Project Manager, who administers the Olympic Scholarships program, congratulated the graduates on successful completion of education course: “You know how to meet challenges, overcome difficulties, you are active, bright and creative – these are the major qualities we value in our fellows. This academic year our Foundation for the first time supported visiting professors as well. Thanks to the grant competition 10 professors from the world leading universities gave lectures and practical sessions in the RIOU.”

Yuliya Sukhenko handles an honorary diploma to UK Professor Vassil Girginov 

Brian Nixon, RIOU graduate, Malaysia: “I am a sportsman with 15 years of experience, my sport is springboard diving, I represented my country in a variety of competitions. I was interested in further education in the field of sports management. I think that I made an excellent decision coming to Russia for studying. I was lucky to meet the best professors, I had an opportunity to visit all Olympic venues in Sochi and this was a truly exiting experience. I’m sure I’ll make a good use of the knowledge acquired here. Now I am ready to advance my career and I would like to launch an Academy of Springboard Diving in my country. I am also one of the suppliers of special sports equipment and plan to expand my business. When I come home, I tell a lot of good about Russia, my classmates, studies, Sochi citizens – everything was fantastic here”.

Brian Nixon

Maria Kirsanova, RIOU graduate, Russia (Krasnodar): “This was a great idea – to open a sports university in the Olympic capital of Russia, to invite leading experts from all over the world. My first degree is in linguistics, but I have always dreamt of working in sports. Before entering the RIOU, I worked in the sports industry, namely, I had a contract with UEFA for working at the Europa League from Krasnodar. I am extremely grateful to the Vladimir Potanin Foundation that they appreciated my efforts and skills and chose me to be among the lucky ones who received the scholarship. My experience here helped me to sign a contract with FIFA: upon graduation I’ll get a job in Nizhny Novgorod. Now I work in Sochi for the Confederation Cup. I’m very thankful to our professors – they really tried to give us everything we needed and a bit more. All our professors have great practical experience. At the same time they all are open people, and advocate for uniting and making the world a better place. And a personal moment – in the Olympic University I’ve met my fiancée. After that one cannot deny providence!”

Maria Kirsanova

Mdlow Hazel Fumlile, RIOU graduate, Swaziland: “I came to Russia eight years ago and started studying Russian at the Voronezh State University at the pre-university courses. Then I entered the Voronezh Pedagogical University, Physical Training Department. Upon graduation I returned home and worked as a teacher of physical training. But I was interested in advancing my career. And I came back to Russia to get the second degree. I’m proud to be one of the first girls from Africa who got such a diploma. I dream that more girls come to work in the sports industry, especially in developing countries. The theme of my graduate thesis was the situation in sports industry in the world and in my country. We have problems with organization of sports, our culture does not permit women to work in this field. This is discrimination. When I come back, I would like to work for the Ministry of Sports and help to develop sports organizations. I want everyone in the world to know about the Kingdom of Swaziland. All in all I lived in Russia for seven years and would be delighted to come here again, as I now have true friends here.”

Mdlow Hazel Fumlile