Vladimir Sengleev: “Mass sport and high achievement sport should develop in parallel”

On November 23, the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) launched an online educational course “Sports Event Management” for representatives of organizations that are members of The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA). The event was attended by the ROC Director General Vladimir Sengleev, RIOU Rector Professor Lev Belousov and TAFISA General Secretary Wolfgang Baumann.

“It is a great honour for me to officially open this project together with my colleagues from the RIOU and ROC,” said Mr. Baumann. “TAFISA can become an excellent role model for other organizations that organize mass sports events that is why we gladly supported the initiative of the Russian Olympic Committee in initializing this educational course. I am optimistic about the future and hope that over time, young sports managers from all over the world will make a significant contribution to our work.”

Furthermore, the Secretary General of TAFISA stated that the number of those wishing to take part in the new educational course exceeded all expectations. The organizers even had to conduct additional shortlisting of candidates.

“Unfortunately, we were able to accept only 30 applications out of more than a hundred. Candidates were from various countries across the world: from Austria and Australia to Lesotho and Barbados. However, the current course is not a one-off event, but a long-term project aimed at training a new generation of managers in sport,” added Wolfgang Baumann.

While addressing the future graduates, Lev Belousov talked about the history and traditions of RIOU, paying special attention to the university’s flagship projects: the Master of Sports Administration programme and the OVAL interactive centre.

“The Russian International Olympic University is a direct result of the legacy of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and during the past three years we have confidently held second place in Europe and tenth in the world in terms of educational programmes in sports management according to the British magazine SportBusiness International. RIOU is one of the few educational institutions that has the right to use Olympic symbols on diplomas, and all our teaching methods have been approved by the International Olympic Committee.

Last year, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of RIOU with support from the ROC and MMC Norilsk Nickel, an interactive information and educational centre known as OVAL was launched in Sochi, dedicated to the history of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement. I hope that after the pandemic ends, all of you will be able to visit this unique museum,” added the Rector of the Russian International Olympic University.

In turn, ROC Director General Vladimir Sengleev delivered a lecture to members of the audience representing more than 30 countries on the topic “The role of National Olympic Committees in the development of mass sport.” Using the example of the Olympic Country programme for the development of mass sport, he spoke about methods of financing mass sporting events, the principles of interaction with regional executive authorities and potential sponsors, and also touched upon other important aspects under this topic.

“Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to get together in Sochi and communicate in the usual format. Nevertheless, online lectures are quite self-sufficient in terms of quality and volume of information. I would like to note that the ROC pays particular attention to the issues of advanced training of coaches and specialists working in the national sports federations. Moreover, in December we plan to launch a large educational programme aimed at training specialists in anti-doping,” said Mr. Sengleev.

Vladimir Sengleev emphasized that lately the National Olympic Committees had made a significant effort in the development of mass sport. If earlier, during working meetings with colleagues, the preparation and performance of teams at the Olympic Games were mainly discussed, now the agenda includes the topic of involving people in physical culture and sport.

“The ROC, like any other NOC, has extensive experience when it comes to participating in major international competitions. We are ready to share this experience with members of TAFISA,” said the Director General of the ROC.

Vladimir Sengleev also noted that mass sport and high achievement sport were closely linked to each other. Therefore, they need to be given the same level of attention.

“The Olympic Movement should be supported by two pillars: mass sport (grassroots sport) and high achievement sport. Both should develop in parallel, and not to the detriment of each other, including with the participation of TAFISA. In 2024, as part of the 8th TAFISA World Games due to be held in Nizhny Novgorod, we plan to organize a conference dedicated to this topic for representatives of numerous National Olympic Committees,” he said.

By the way, the next lecture of the ROC Director General will be devoted to the 8th TAFISA World Games.

“One of the objectives of this course is to highlight and promote the 2024 TAFISA World Games in order to show foreigners how beautiful, multinational and multicultural our country is. We want to give them additional knowledge which will help them in their work and at the same time open up new opportunities for cooperation.”

“The Russian Olympic Committee, as the organizer of the 8th TAFISA World Games, has an interest in attracting representative delegations from all over the world in order to showcase their most spectacular national sports and physical activities. Also, with the help of such educational courses, we want to form a wide base of contacts with TAFISA members for subsequent interaction in terms of organizing the Games and ensuring the most extensive representation,” concluded Vladimir Sengleev.