Maya Kateka, a FISU Student Ambassador for Malawi, received the annual FISU scholarship to study at the RIOU ©FISU

Maya Kateka has been awarded a scholarship by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) to study the Master of Sports Administration (MSA) course at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU).

The RIOU scholarship is awarded by FISU on an annual basis, and serves to help students develop their careers in the sport sector.

The MSA course is based in the Russian city of Sochi and is endorsed by the International Olympic Committee.

The one-year programme is open to students with a Bachelor or Master's degree, and seeks to equip graduates with the strategic and operational skills required for a career in sports management, covering areas such as sport diplomacy, economic theory and financial and legal regulations in the sports industry.

It ranked second among all European postgraduate sports courses and 10th globally in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Postgraduate Sports Course Rankings.

Kateka described receiving the scholarship as "a dream come true."

"I'm failing to find the right phrase to accurately describe how I feel about being the recipient of this scholarship," she commented.

"This is a dream come true for me as it perfectly aligns with my vision and goals for personal and career development.

"Usually we only plan, however it takes more effort to ensure that what we've planned is fulfilled.

The Russian International Olympic University is based in Sochi ©Getty Images
The Russian International Olympic University is based in Sochi ©Getty Images

"It brings me the greatest joy to be ticking off one of the things I have always hoped for."

Kateka is also a FISU Student Ambassador for Malawi and FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy alumni, and implemented the Baller Kunthazi initiative in her country which sought to empower girls by encouraging them to participate in "predominantly male sports."

Her initial impressions of the institution in Sochi have been overwhelmingly positive.

"I cannot help but to recognise the beauty of the institution itself," Kateka said.

"I love the environment, it is very conducive and amicable for the academic atmosphere.

"Moreover, neighbouring with the Black Sea makes it even better as it is the perfect destination for an academic break.

"My highlight so far is finally meeting and getting to interact with almost my entire class and RIOU staff.

"Finally getting to put faces to the names, especially in a difficult time as this for the entire globe makes me so happy."

South Korean student Lee Yongwoo received last year's scholarship to study at the RIOU.

The university earlier this year signed a cooperation agreement with organisers of the Yekaterinburg 2023 FISU World University Games.