Wednesday the 29th of November, marked the special event of the 15th annual AISTS Master of Advanced Studies in Sport Administration and Technology Graduation Ceremony. The Class of 2017 celebrated the completion of their 15-month journey at the Olympic Museum, here in Lausanne, with industry professionals, educational delegates and family and friends. 

Throughout the ceremony we heard from the President of the AISTS, Professor François Bussy, Vice President of Research and International Relations at the University of Lausanne, Ms Maria Bogner, Head of the Olympic Studies Centre, Jamie Andrew, motivational speaker, mountaineer, amputee and author and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Thomas Bach. 

President Bach, International Olympic Committee

President Bach encouraged the class to

“Take this opportunity, have confidence in yourself and in what you have achieved and learnt and have the courage to dream big, but also think big and act big.”

This is the third time now that President Bach has attended the graduation ceremony and congratulated the AISTS graduates personally and he commented on the strength of the AISTS community and the fact that nearly wherever he goes, whether in China, the USA or South America, he is always approached by someone from our community.  With the class of 2017 graduating we have now reached 494 AISTS Alumni, and we look forward to welcoming our 500th alumni next year. 

We were also honoured to have Mr Jamie Andrew as our keynote speaker for the evening, who received a standing ovation. Jamie, from Scotland, survived a storm on Mont Blanc in 1999 which killed his climbing partner. He suffered hypothermia and frostbite and had to learn to walk again after his hands and feet were amputated.  Mr Andrew encouraged the class to pursue their dreams, whatever they might be.  

Mr Jamie Andrew OBE

“You only have one shot at life so it’s worth making the most of that shot, and to do that you have to take control.  You have to take responsibility of your actions, choose your own destiny and follow your own dreams.”

Jamie spoke about his personal challenges and achievements that he has gained over the years from climbing mountains, to rehabilitation, to skiing, rock climbing, snowboarding, running marathons and Ironman triathlons.  His message of finding ways of turning weaknesses into strengths was truly inspirational.  In 2016 Jamie climbed the Matterhorn, being the first quadruple amputee to conquer this mountain, something that he dreamt of doing and took five years of planning. 

“If you allow yourself to dare to dream big, and work your way towards it one step at a time, like any other challenge, you can achieve those dreams.”

The evening also saw MAS 2017 participant Mak Dorić received the award for Best Research Paper with his topic being “Emerging Patterns in the Consumption of Live Football Matches” and Lukas Gerber, former Swiss Ice Hockey player and father of 3, received the esteemed Best Participant Award. 

The class of 2017 started their journey in September 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 future career in sports management.