For the second time, Oleksandr Kucheriavyi, who was awarded the first FIFA/CIES Network scholarship for the FIFA Master, shares his impressions on his new life as a student. He offers us an overview of the key aspects of the “humanities of sport” module that ended a few weeks ago.
Questioning and doubt on the role of history are certainly very present in the minds of most of the students starting the FIFA Master. The first of the three pillars making up the Programme is the “humanities of sport” module delivered by the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University in Leicester (England). After the first classes, comprehension dawns. Our attitude to sports history changes radically. We grasp the “causal links” between the majority of major sports events which gradually forged the sports industry as we know it today, and which will continue to shape it in the future.
Classes are taught by top-level sports historians from the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Among them, we should mention experts such as Pierre Lanfranchi, Richard Holt, Mike Cronin, David Goldblatt and a host of other well-known names, who inspired many FIFA Master alumni.
The module in Leicester offers an excellent combination of theory and practice as well as many site visits, which constitutes an undeniable asset for the Master’s Degree. These visits, where the students attending one of the best programmes in the world meet the leaders of Europe’s top sport organisations, are mutually beneficial. Just like a football match, where each player makes progress while enjoying playing on the field. During visits, the representatives of clubs, federations, associations and other agencies share their experiences, provide information on their management structure, take part in question and answer sessions and in animated discussions on professional themes. In return, today’s students will perhaps become their future employees, given that FIFA Master graduates are increasingly occupying key positions in reputed sports organisations.
Another essential aspect of the module - and generally of the programme as a whole - lies in the fantastic cooperation and fruitful interaction between students and the FIFA Master alumni network. I could also mention “the transfer of experience from one generation to another”, with mentors chosen among the graduates of past editions to support today’s students. But there is also a knowledge transfer between the sports industry and the FIFA Master. For example, in October, we attended conferences by several alumni, like Bruno Wanderley, Solomon Mudege and Jose Andres Portabella, who today work in major sports organisations.
After the Christmas break, we will travel to Milan where we will attend the management module at the prestigious SDA Bocconi School of Management. At this point we have mixed feelings: The excitement of new discoveries in Italy and, already, some nostalgia, with fond memories of our first months of classes in England…