October the 1st will long be remembered by the students of the 5th edition FIFA/CIES/NMMU programme in sport management as they received their qualifications at a moving ceremony in the presence of their families and staff from the NMMU and CIES. In all 20 students successfully graduated from the programme.

Award winners 5th Edition FIFA/CIES/NMMU.

From left to right: Bret McLaren, Zanele Nhlapo, Angelique Jennings and Emmanuel Nwalor

Two representatives from the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games, namely Pippa Nell and Kevin Paul served as the keynote speakers at this prestigious event.

Pippa, who served as a Doping Control Officer at both events, shared her enriching experiences in England. She also placed them in perspective by making relevant connections between the training of sports managers and the demands of participation in top-level competitions.

 Kevin Paul, a 21-year-old athlete, gold-medal winner at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 and silver-medal winner in London in 2012, explained the importance of sport in his life and his motivation to “fight” for his country’s colours despite the difficulties and the sacrifices that this involves: “My disability and sport have taught me that there are more important things in life than the latest cell phone app or buying the trendiest sports shoes”.

Vincent Monnier, senior manager for International Relations at CIES, congratulated the students on their fine achievement and encouraged them to remain active participants within the broader CIES University Network.

Khaya Matiso, NMMU Dean of Students, stated that the FIFA/CIES Programme fully corresponds to the mission of the University and to the needs of South Africa. “We do not want to focus on development merely for the sake of development, but on development of the skills of our young managers, and that is what this programme offers us. Moreover, NMMU and our country will need strong partners to be able to make progress. I think that we have found those partners in FIFA and CIES”.

Five students were honoured for their fine academic achievements in the programme, namely, Zarina Bahdur (88%) Angelique Jennings (81%) and Brett Mclaren, Zanele Nhlapo and Emmanuel Nwalor (75%). 

This year also saw five international students completing the programme from countries such as Nigeria, Lesotho, Namibia and Kenya.

Emmanuel Nwalor concluded the evening with an excellent speech on behalf of the class of 2011/12.