Today, March 30, 2009, the formal announcement of the commencement of the postgraduate studies programme “Olympic Studies, Olympic Education, Organization and Management of Olympic Events” took place at the conference centre of the Hellenic Olympic Committee; the programme is organized by the International Olympic Academy and the University of Peloponnese, with the kind support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
The commencement of the postgraduate programme was welcomed by Hellenic Olympic Committee President Mr. Spyros Capralos, Mrs. Marianna Latsis, and Minister of National Education & Religious Affairs (MINERA) Mr. Aris Spiliotopoulos.
Present at the event were members of the educational community, the sports world and the Olympic Family.
In his speech, International Olympic Academy President Mr. Isidoros Kouvelos mentioned, among other things, that:
“The new civic function of the IOA aims to expand its activities on a local, national, and international level, taking into account social, economic, political, and cultural components. In the framework of this expanded educational and scientific role the Academy is pursuing, the objective of the international postgraduate programme, organized in collaboration with the University of Peloponnese and with the kind support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, is to strengthen the development and promotion of research based on interdisciplinary criteria, avoiding introverted attitudes and unilateral actions”.
In his speech, University of Peloponnese Administrative Committee President Mr. Constantine Demopoulos noted that:
“The postgraduate programme whose commencement we are officially celebrating today is part of the curriculum of the Department of Sports Organization and Management of the Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences at the University of Peloponnese. Its central purpose is to teach the moral values of sports and of the Olympic spirit. The majority of students participating in the programme will be foreign. They will become familiar with Greek civilization and traditions and will subsequently become able ambassadors for Greece in their native lands. I must also specifically underline how valuable and important it was to have four established and extremely prestigious institutions collaborating towards this goal; these institutions are the University of Peloponnese, the International Olympic Academy, the Hellenic Olympic Committee, and the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, with the support and encouragement of the MNERA.”
In his speech, University of Peloponnese, Department of Sports Organization and Management Associate Professor and International Olympic Academy Honorary Dean Mr. Konstantinos Georgiadis stressed that:
''This collaboration breathes new life into the ancient gymnasium of “virtue” in Ancient Olympia and Sparta, places associated with education, exploits, and wisdom. This new gymnasium of virtue will train the agents of Olympic Education, young people from every corner of the earth, to carry the message of the Olympic Idea unchanged to their countries.”
In his address, Hellenic Olympic Committee President Mr. Spyros Capralos mentioned that:
''The HOC wholeheartedly supports this initiative of the International Olympic Academy in collaboration with the University of Peloponnese, believing that the new postgraduate programme will be able to fill the social, moral, and spiritual vacuums that exist these days, which are difficult for our youth. “Olympic Studies, Olympic Education, Organization and Management of Olympic Events, i.e., the subjects this programme will cover, can offer not only the knowledge and technical expertise, but also the morals and culture young people need today in their ardent quest for values and ideals.”
In her address, Mrs. Marianna Latsis noted that
“funding the ‘Olympic Studies, Olympic Education, Organization and Management of Olympic Events’ postgraduate programme with the sum of one million euros for the next three years is completely in line with the broader educational policy of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation to strengthen tertiary public education, support regional universities, provide scholarships, and promote interdisciplinary research in Greece.''
The event ended with an address by Minister of National Education & Religious Affairs Mr. Aris Spiliotopoulos, who, among other things, said that:
''It is our duty to support the newly established postgraduate studies programme of the Department of Sports Organization and Management of the University of Peloponnese, which comes to fill a void in tertiary education in the academic subject of Olympic philosophy and education and our need as a nation to develop specialized personnel who will possess the necessary disciplinary background in matters of Olympism and sports.”
The message sent by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge stressed: “I am convinced this new programme, which is in complete harmony with the philosophy of the Olympic Movement, will offer the knowledge and education necessary to train responsible citizens who, through mutual understanding, will demonstrate a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play.”
The postgraduate programme will be taught during the 2009–2010 academic year at the International Olympic Academy in Ancient Olympia, and in the Department of Sports Organization and Management in Sparta, and will be open to members of National Olympic Committees, National Olympic Academies, and the International Olympic Committee, as well as to students studying the action lines of the Olympic Movement and Olympic Education.