Olympians reap benefits of postgraduate programme

7 | 5 | 2014

Since it was founded by the International Olympic Committee and other leading institutions and universities in 2000, the AISTS (International Academy for Sports Science and Technology), a unique 14 month international postgraduate programme in sports management, has graduated seven Olympic athletes, including an Olympic Gold Medallist, a two-time Silver Medallist and a Bronze medallist.

Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Masters Programme aims to take advantage of the 60 sports federations and organisations based in the region by adopting a multi-disciplinary approach encompassing Sports Medicine, Law, Technology, Sociology and Economics and Management.

In the current 2014 edition, the AISTS MSA class of 41 participants includes four Olympians. They are as diverse as their fellow peers: an Athletics Gold Medallist from Nigeria, a decathlete from Slovakia, a swimmer from Bahrain and a cross-country skier from Greece.

Olympic athletes who have graduated from the Masters have gone on to carve successful careers in the sport industry, working with and for Olympic Games Organising Committees, International Sports Federations, National Olympic Associations and humanitarian NGOs such as the World Health Organisation.

Others, like recent graduate and pro windsurfer, Toni Wilhelm, continue to train for the upcoming Summer Olympics.

AISTS Athlete Scholarship

To encourage both young and former athletes to develop expertise, skills and knowledge in sports management, the AISTS has developed a scholarship specifcally aimed at current and past professional athletes who have competed at an international level. This scholarship helps to fund half the tuition fee of one athlete enrolled in the programme.

Speaking about the scholarship, Dr Claude Stricker, AISTS Executive Director, said: “The AISTS Athlete Scholarship gives us the opportunity to support Olympians and professional athletes during and beyond their sporting career. But also importantly, as sports managers, we firmly believe that athletes should always be at the focus of what we do. That’s why it’s so valuable to have the athlete perspective within the classroom.”

Snapshot of AISTS MSA Olympic Graduates & Participants

Graduate / Participant Discipline Country AISTS MSA edition
Slaven Dizdarevic Decathlon Slovakia 2014
Maria Ntanou Cross-Country Skiing Greece 2014
Hisham Shehab Swimming Bahrain 2014
Ene Udo-Obong Athletics Nigeria 2014
Kamila Hajkova Figure Skating Czech Republic 2013
Toni Wilhelm Windsurfing Germany 2013
Olivia Aya Nakitanda Swimming Uganda 2013
So Hee Kim Speed Skating South Korea 2008
Ralph Stöckli Curling Switzerland 2007
Liza Bracht-Tishchenko Volleyball Russia 2007
Jennifer Button Swimming Canada 2006