This new agreement will see Russian and Slovak sports committees working together ©EOC

A Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed by the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee and the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), formalising their commitment to promoting Olympic education and raising the standards of sports management and administration.

Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee President Anton Siekel and RIOU Rector Professor Lev Belousov attended the signing ceremony, held during the 48th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC).  

The agreement means RIOU will provide training and professional development to Slovak sports management specialists, based on advanced education technologies and Olympic expertise.

As part of the agreement, the two sides will work together to deliver joint educational events, provide conditions for an expert dialogue in development of the Olympic Movement, as well as encouraging student exchange between RIOU and Slovak universities.

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." 

Baku hosted the European Youth Olympic Festival - Banská Bystrica is next in 2021 ©
Baku hosted the European Youth Olympic Festival - Banská Bystrica is next in 2021 ©

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 and 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."