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The Fifth Graduation Ceremony in the Russian International Olympic University

The Fifth Graduation Ceremony in the Russian International Olympic University

The fifth graduation ceremony was held on June 22, 2018 in the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) in Sochi. 48 students from 15 countries received diplomas of Master of Sport Administration. 20 graduates were fellows of the Olympic Scholarships Competition of the Vladimir Potanin Fellowship Program.

At the graduation ceremony Lev Belousov, Rector of the RIOU, noted that from the academic point of view the fifth year graduates are one of the strongest in the history of the University.

“Excellent academic results of our graduates prove that we are on the right track,” he said, “The University makes progress: for the second year the RIOU is the second best in Europe according to a reputable ranking of the Sport Business International magazine. This is a global trademark of the university. Another indicator of success is higher enrollment competition: 15 – 18 applicants per place depending on education trajectory, therefore we have to make our selection process even tougher.”

Curriculum of future international-level sport managers includes a number of disciplines: Economics of Sport and the Olympics; Governance, Politics and the Olympic Movement; Research Methods for Sport Management; Business of Sport and the Olympics; and Sport Marketing and Communications. Module on anti-doping control will be compulsory for all courses for the next academic year.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee, came to Sochi to welcome the graduates.

“The Olympic University is an outstanding project. It is one of the few universities that trains high-profile specialists in sport management. Now this education is more than ever in demand in the industry of sport. We will continue our cooperation with the RIOU, and successful graduates are welcome to the Russian Olympic Committee”, Stanislav Pozdnyakov stated.

The RIOU also offers short-term courses of additional training and personnel development. “Most of the Sochi administration employees attend them,” - Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, said. He noted that unique knowledge provided by the University is critical for managers of all levels: “We are excited that thanks to the Olympic legacy we now have the Olympic University. This is a great honor to our city, as students from all over the world come here to study, and they are taught by leading professors from international universities.”

Ilya Averbukh, prominent sportsman, ice dancer, World and European champion and Olympic silver medalist, also took part in the graduation ceremony.

“Graduation is both sad and festive occasion, and it is always a springboard for daring ambitious,” he said to the graduates, “You have to implement the knowledge you have received into practice, and this transition from theory to practice is the most challenging. Sport management in Russia is in its infancy. We still have a long way before we learn how to serve sportsmen. I am eager to be proud of our sport managers. I wish you good luck with your career!”

Yulia Sukhenko, project manager of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, also congratulated the graduates:

“We are happy that this year you have joined the community of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation fellows. The Foundation supports active and creative professionals. Sport has a great power to unite people, and you demonstrate this unity and team spirit. A unique international environment exists in the University; the knowledge you gained here you will be able to use in your home countries and communities. Keep on developing yourself both personally and professionally. Wishing you every success!”

Elizaveta Zhuk, winner of the Olympic Scholarships Competition of the Vladimir Potanin Fellowship Program, the RIOU MSA program graduate:

“I graduated from the law school of the Moscow State University and conducted research in sport law. Therefore it was logical to continue my education at the Olympic University. I am very grateful to the Potanin Foundation for its support, as it would be impossible for me to study here without it. The RIOU is a great university and, to my mind, the best part of it is its excellent faculty. It is a great asset that thanks to the Foundation’s support the University may engage such brilliant professors; some of them come here to teach us for far away, from the US, Canada, or Australia, and it is worthwhile.”

Many Russian and international experts, professors from leading universities and Olympic research centers from all over the world teach at the University. The best of them receive professor grants from the Foundation.

Many graduates stay in Sochi to work at sport facilities – the city attracts people with its high profile international sports activities. De Abiega Lapuente Alberto from Mexico, one of this year graduates, the Vladimir Potanin Foundation fellow would like to learn Russian and to stay and work in Russia:

“Sochi is a beautiful city, and people are amazing. I volunteered at a variety of sport events and venues. Tomorrow I will go to Samara to see a FIFA World Cup game. It is great to be in Russia and witness all of the sports developments.”

The Russian International Olympic University has already started a new enrollment of students for the Master of Sport Administration program for the new academic year 2018/2019. Applications can be submitted during this the summer.