Last week, Thursday the 9th of February, marked the 14th annual AISTS Master of Advanced Studies in Sport Administration and Technology Graduation Ceremony. The Class of 2016 celebrated in style at the impressive Olympic Museum, here in Lausanne, with over 200 guests comprising of industry professionals, educational delegates and family and friends. 

The Director of Corporate Development, Brand and Sustainability from the International Olympic Committee, Ms Marie Sallois Dembreville delivered the message from the IOC this year and also awarded the degrees to the Class of 2016.  For the previous two years Mr Thomas Bach has done so, but unfortunately due to other commitments he was unable to attend. 

Ms Mara Abbott, USA cyclist and Olympian, set the high standard for the evening with her inspirational speech. Mara Abbott was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. She spent the last ten years of her life competing as a professional road cyclist. During her career she won the women’s Giro d’Italia twice and was a two-time national champion. Most recently she finished fourth in the women’s road race at the Rio Olympic Games.  She gave a heartfelt anecdote of her well-publicised race in Rio and the agonisingly close finish and encouraged the graduates to discover, and be very clear on what their passion is, and take the risks of committing to it.

And when the crashes come and disaster strikes – keep going and show up for every moment that you possibly can, as your absolute best self. – Mara Abbott 

After the official presentation of diplomas, the evening awarded two winners for the Best Research Paper Award to Michael Broadley and Junjie Li, and Stefanie Krysiak was awarded the Best Participant Award, supported by the Olympic Studies Centre and the ASMS, respectively.

After 14 months of hard work the class of 2016 became official AISTS Alumni and were welcomed into the 400+ family by the newly appointed Alumni President, Ms Nikki Symmons (MAS 2014). 

The Class of 2016 started their journey in January last year, with 9 months of full time lectures, exams, case studies, workshops, team projects and field trips to different international federations and other sports organisations. For the remaining 5 months, participants focused on their research paper and completed at least 8 weeks of work experience for a sport organisation or sport related company. The graduation ceremony represented the culmination of the participants’ hard work and dedication throughout the year. AISTS wishes all graduates the very best for their career in sports management.