IOC and UNHCR Representatives feature at the AISTS Canavan Cup


The annual AISTS Canavan Cup, a sports event for alumni organised by the current AISTS MAS in Sport Administration and Technology class, was held for the third time late last year at Brillantmont International School in Lausanne.  Named in honour of alumna, Dr June Canavan who worked tirelessly to help athletes during her career, the Cup challenges the current class to coordinate and manage a creative sports event on a tight budget.

Over 60 competitors, VIPs and spectators turned up for the event to support refugee development and sustainable change projects. A fundraising record was achieved under the motto “Together through sport”.

Opening Ceremony

The event started with an opening ceremony, including music from the school band and speeches from guest speakers Claude Marshall, Consultant for Refugee Sport at UNHCR, and Gonzalo Barrio, Project Coordinator of the Refugee Olympic Team, Olympic Solidarity at the International Olympic Committee. Both emphasised the important role sport plays in social development and refugee integration with the Refugee Olympic Team in the Rio Olympics last summer being an excellent example. A short film featuring AISTS staff members and Master participants, set the scene for the sports competition.

Sports competition

This year’s sports competition was innovative at all levels. Four teams formed by a mix of AISTS MAS former participants and local refugees with more than 20 athletes were taking part. The sports competitions were:

  • A round robin of kho-kho, a sport originating from Western India
  • Semi-finals of prisonball, a variant of dodgeball popularized in French speaking countries
  • A final in the form of a football Penalty Shoot-out, following a classic variant of the MLS (US Major League of Soccer).

The competition was so levelled that a sudden death was required to decide the winning team.

International catering

Catering was a great success with international cuisine being the theme. Typical dishes from countries such as India, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico and Italy, to mention a few, were cooked by current AISTS MAS participants and enjoyed by spectators and athletes.

Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony started with the award of prizes. Winners were rewarded with sports clothing. This was followed by a charity raffle and prizes provided by sponsors were given away to ten lucky attendants, including three tickets for a Lausanne HC ice hockey game. Finally, Claude Stricker, Executive Director at AISTS, and MAS participants handed the cheques to UNHCR and June Canavan Foundation representatives.

A year of records

The third edition of the Canavan Cup will be remembered not only for the memorable athlete and spectator experience, but also for the funds raised. 3,500 CHF were given to UNHCR for refugee sport programmes and 1,452 CHF to the June Canavan Foundation for social development programmes through sport, making a total of 4,952 CHF that was raised and donated.

This was possible thanks to the effort of current AISTS MAS participants, who planned and organised this event in less than a month with a limited budget, as well as to the support from sponsors and donors.

Event sponsors and supporters

This event was possible thanks to the following supporters:

Written by Eduardo Cerdan, AISTS 2017 participant.  Edited by Liz Fulton.

About the AISTS MAS in Sport Administration 

Since 2003, the AISTS has graduated over 400 sports managers, representing over 100 countries from all continents. The attractiveness of the AISTS MAS in Sport Administration programme lies in its unique and multidisciplinary approach, which integrates knowledge from the fields of management and economics, technology, law, sociology, and medicine.

Based in the heart of the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, the programme is taught by a staff of over 140 world-class experts from the sports industry, and academics from the universities that co-sign the diploma: the EPFL and the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva.

The majority of graduates pursue careers with national or international sports organisations, such as the IOC, national and international sports federations, and sport businesses.

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