25 October 2019

The Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee and the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation formalising the two parties’ commitment to promoting Olympic education and raising the standards of sports management and administration.

President of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee Anton Siekel and RIOU Rector Professor Lev Belousov attended the signing ceremony, held during the 48th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC). Under the agreement RIOU will provide training and professional development to Slovak sports management specialists based on advanced educational technologies and Olympic expertise. The two sides will cooperate to deliver joint educational events, provide conditions for an expert dialogue on current issues in the development of the sports industry and the Olympic Movement and encourage student exchange between RIOU and Slovak universities.

President Anton Siekel said: “Earlier this year Banská Bystrica was chosen as the 2021 host city of the European Youth Summer Olympic Festival (EYOF). The agreement with RIOU will assist in the creative use of the sports legacy from the major sporting events, open up new growth opportunities for sports specialists of the Slovak Republic, and thus increase the marketability of the Slovak sports industry. As a part of the Memorandum, I am happy to accept a scholarship of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation through which a nominated Slovak candidate will join the 2020-2021 edition of the RIOU’s Master of Sport Administration (MSA) programme”.  

RIOU Rector Lev Belousov said: “Our cooperation is drawing from the rich sports traditions of Slovakia and Russia, and long-established humanitarian contacts between our peoples. RIOU’s flagship MSA course is aimed at training world-class sports management professionals. Over the years we have hosted students from 65 different countries, including the Slovak Republic. I am delighted that our graduates are already adding value to the development of Slovak sports and I am confident that this Memorandum will take the results of our joint work to a new level”.

Martin Ivanko, a representative of the Slovak Republic, a graduate of the 2016-2017 MSA intake said: “Sport has been my passion since childhood. Before joining RIOU I worked for the Slovak Ministry of Finance, but never stopped thinking of a career in football business. I applied for a job at multiple football clubs but without much success. Then I decided to change the strategy: quit the job and invest my time and money in obtaining quality sport business education. My research proved that the RIOU’s MSA is one of the best offerings on the market. Now I’m very glad that I made the decision to pursue my masters at RIOU. With its exceptional campus facilities, and a faculty of lecturers made up of highly respected Russian and foreign sports management experts, RIOU has become an ideal career booster for me. I now work for the Slovak Football Association, so I can say that RIOU helped me to fulfil my dream”.


The Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation “Russian International Olympic University” (RIOU) was established on 21 October 2009 under the Memorandum of Understanding between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee and the Russian Olympic Committee, and under a decree of the Russian Federation No 774.  The founders of the University are the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and Interros private investment company. RIOU provides training in major areas of sports management preparing students to make a positive and lasting impact on the international sports industry and secure prestigious positions within sporting organisations.