Baku 2015 Games Academy launched

The Baku 2015 European Games is proud to announce the launch of the innovative Baku 2015 Games Academy and is now ready to receive applications for the Graduate Excellence Programme.

The Games Academy will develop the skills and Games knowledge of local team members through the Flexible Learning Pathway as well as developing participating university graduates from Azerbaijan and all over Europe in the Graduate Excellence Programme.

Together, the two programmes will allow the Games Academy to support the creation of a lasting capability legacy in Azerbaijan.

This unique initiative is being led by Baku European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC) and the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, and has been endorsed by the European Olympic Committees (EOC).

Speaking about the Graduate Excellence Programme, Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports and Chief Executive of Baku 2015, said: “This is an opportunity for young people from Azerbaijan and all over Europe to help contribute to the success of the first ever European Games. We look forward to welcoming these ambitious young graduates and helping them to hone their skills as they begin their careers in the world of major sports event management.”

Talented and motivated people who graduated between 2012 and 2014 are being invited to apply to the Graduate Excellence Programme.

The Graduate Excellence Programme will see 199 candidates (150 from universities in Azerbaijan and 49 from the countries of each participating National Olympic Committee) have the opportunity to develop their talents to make the most of the European Games experience.

The programme will include three weeks of intensive training, with participants then given real responsibility for planning and delivering the Games for up to one year, with coaching and mentoring from international experts as well as gaining hands-on experience with roles at test events and during Games time.

The entire local BEGOC team will also benefit through the Flexible Learning Pathway initiative, which will provide a structured roadmap of regular learning through core skills courses, training on event management and multi-sport events, mentoring and coaching from experienced team members and preparation for Games time roles.

Pat Hickey, President of the EOC, said: “The Baku 2015 Games Academy is yet another innovative idea from Baku 2015 that will be hugely beneficial for young people in Azerbaijan and elsewhere across Europe. This academy is an example of how the EOC and BEGOC share the same vision for the inaugural European Games to leave a footprint of sports management best practice. The delivery partners that BEGOC are using show how well supported this idea is by the Azerbaijani people. I’m particularly pleased that each of Europe’s National Olympic Committees will be invited to be a part of the Academy and I’m sure the 199 young people on the Graduate Excellence Programme will provide useful insights for Games organisers and the EOC.”

A spokesperson from the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation said: “The Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, is proud to be supporting the development of the Baku 2015 Games Academy as we believe it is a ground-breaking initiative that will ensure a genuine and lasting legacy that will inspire and excite our country’s youth.”

Gavin McAlpine, Director at BEGOC with responsibility for the Games Academy, said: “We believe that the Games Academy is unique in the major events industry. For the first time on a large scale, people will be able to benefit from the type of career-defining learning experience which is normally only available in corporate organisations.”