The grand opening ceremony of the Sochi campus of the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), built for the 2014 Games, was held on September, 16. The first students from 14 countries will begin courses in the "Masters of Sport Administration" program this month. The RIOU will become one of the key elements of the Sochi Games Legacy and earlier in September the campus became the first Olympic venue to receive the BREEAM international environment certificate for adhering to "green" construction technologies.
The unique "Master of Sport Administration" (MSA) education program was developed by the RIOU, Russian and foreign specialists, and Olympic and sports experts recommended by the IOC and the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. As a part of the program, students will study international business, sports diplomacy, legal regulation of sport, and scientific and methodological foundations of sports administration in fields such as economic theory, management strategy, marketing and financing of sporting organizations. Students will also become familiarized with business ethics and the role of political institutions (government and other state bodies) in the field of sport.
Approximately 20 lecturers from leading academic institutions of 10 countries will conduct classes and seminars for the MSA program.
In the time since the official presentation of the University at the 2010 Vancouver Games until the opening of the campus, RIOU lecturers have already taught more than 1,000 students through class visits at partner sites. The RIOU's first students were the employees of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. Additionally, 180 people underwent training as a part of the "Olympic Hospitality" Program, aimed at increasing the qualifications among the service representatives in Sochi and the Krasnodar Region.
The 15-floor RIOU campus is approximately 70 meters high and is located in the Central District of Sochi. The campus houses a research center, library, classrooms, a public catering area and rooms for private study. More than 500 people can work and study at one time. Accommodation is available for students in comfortable apartment-style hotels situated in the university village.
After the Games, the RIOU will become a research and education center not only for Russians, where many international sports events will take place in the coming years, but also for students globally and future Games' Organizing Committees. The RIOU will prepare specialists, who will be able to competently govern the sports legacy of the Sochi 2014 Games and who will be managers of the innovative sporting venues, which have been built in Sochi as well as those which are currently being constructed in other regions of our country.
The President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, noted:
"The Games Legacy in Sochi is already seeing tangible results and the establishment of modern ecological standards, to which everyone must adhere to on the RIOU campus, is a prime example of this. We are proud the building was one of the first Olympic venues to receive the BREEAM international ecological certificate. Thanks to the professional Olympic education program for students, a new generation of sports managers will become equipped with the necessary knowledge for the staging of large-scale sports events. These future leaders will become highly qualified specialists and ambassadors of the Olympic and Paralympic ideals and values.
Notes to the Editor
The concept of the innovative Sochi 2014 Olympic education system was adopted at a meeting of the Sochi 2014 Supervisory Board in October 2009 and approved by the IOC in December 2009.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic education system is made up of three levels:
• Popular Olympic education
• Academic Olympic education
• Professional Olympic education.
The system does not focus solely on sport, but also covers the methodology of the preparation and staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic education is a large-scale project for the creation of a continual education system from primary to post-graduate level. The system is implemented at local (Sochi), regional (Krasnodar Region), federal and international levels.