The chief executive of the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), Professor Lev Belousov, has told that the new master’s course the university is launching in London will absorb the legacy of Sochi 2014.
RIOU are launching the Master of Sport Administration (MSA) course at Russia.Sochi.Park in Kensington Gardens. The conference centre of Russia.Sochi.Park will host the launch of the course, which is comprised of four modules plus two special research modules, one of which is a dissertation.
“This is very important for us as this is the specific feature of our MSA course,” Belousov told. “It will be a very rich course, more than that. “This course will be based on the transfer of the Olympic knowledge accumulated by Sochi 2014 in its preparation for the Winter Games into all our educational programmes.
“We will accumulate the legacy…we will have a very rich library, and we are accumulating now the experience and will use this for scientific work. “We will give our students the possibility to study this material related to the preparation of the Games.”
RIOU, which launched in 2009, have been crucial in the delivery of preparations for the Sochi 2014.
It has so far prepared 900 people through their courses, including members of the Organising Committee of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Last year seven special seminars for Russian ministers of sport and heads of sport commissions were held.
Through the knowledge RIOU imparts they will be able to transfer this learning to either major sports events elsewhere in the world, or in some of the other key sport events taking place in Russia this decade.
“The prime focus after London 2012 will be Sochi, and RIOU will be a key part of the legacy of the Winter Games,” Belousov says. “For the legacy of Sochi 2014 this is absolutely important as this is the instrument to accumulate the knowledge and use it.
“That is why the rest of the Games have to become part of the humanitarian legacy of the Games.”
More than 200 people who have already participated in RIOU’s courses are regional managers of sport. This is RIOU’s key main audience, and Belousov says that “now we understand much better what they need and we understand what they are expecting from us.”
Recruitment of students for the new one year MSA course will begin this year, and Professor Belousov explained some of the detailed planning that has gone into its design.
“Starting from October this year we will start the process of recruiting those students,” he said. “This is a very interesting course, operated by very experienced people. “To prepare this course we created a group of experts composed of foreign and Russian professors, and they have been working in parallel.
“We gave all of them the same task – we wanted to avoid any kind of personalisations. “After that, we compared the different approaches. “So we prepared the two programmes, in English and in Russian. “We invited visiting professors, the best of the best, the cream of the cream, because we have the possibility to choose the best of them.”
The professors involved to date have come from across the world, including Canada, Britain, Italy, Spain, the United States and France. Russia is a fitting place for the university, the first of its kind, given the number of major events being held in the country this decade. Next year Kazan is hosting the Universiade, whilst Russia is hosting the FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The IAAF World Athletics Championships will be held in Moscow next year, and the city will also stage the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships in St Petersburg in 2016. And these are just some of the major sports events taking place in Russia.
“We have to transform the mentality in our society,” Professor Belousov explained. “Sport is now already becoming the instrument to do this.
“It is absolutely necessary to be involved in sport with your children or yourself. “This is a change in our mentality – this is the new quality of life and we have reached it only now, the understanding that sport will be the instrument to enrich your life; that sport gives you this possibility.
“This is the main difference in comparison with previous years in terms of values.”