Students of Master in Sport Management conclude unexpected year with live graduation ceremony

Last week, the students of the Master in Sport Management ended their academic year with a live graduation ceremony in Amsterdam after more than three months of online education

On March 18, Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam decided to close its doors immediately due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the result that more than 100 students were no longer able to continue their face-to-face classes. In addition, several events and site visits had to be taken off the agenda.

The Master in Coaching programs, of which four different editions were currently running, and the Module on Sport & Facility/Event Management have been put on hold until September 2020. However, the Master in Sport Management program was able to restart through the online platform of the Institute due to the program’s set-up.

Just a few days after the closing of the Institute’s office, the next lesson was already scheduled to take place online. For the next 10 weeks, the 44 students, some of whom had flown back to their home countries, were able to continue their studies with online classes via various platforms. In addition, special webinars, online guest lessons and digital activities were organized to complement the program. The students were also involved in organizing how to implement the online lessons and manage the new situation. This resulted in a great deal of solidarity and connection, and the personal attention for which the Cruyffian education method is known was remained intact.

Like all the other students, Raphael Schmidt, a German student who was an intern at 433 during this academic year, had to get used to the new situation. “It was really different, both the educational and the personal part, and not being able to see my classmates was very sad. But it was really impressive how fast the Institute was able to adapt and develop new possibilities to educate us. The staff did everything they could and made it possible for us to finish the program. You only miss something when you don’t have it. For me, that sentence wraps up the last three months.”


Students Master in Sport Management celebrate their graduation at Hotel Jakarta in Amsterdam

Another student, Charlotte Tönjann, had some difficulties with the transition: ”The classes at the Institute are encouraging the students to interact and engage as much as possible in order to help them form their own opinions and thoughts on each matter. So, when the coronavirus hit it was rather difficult to adapt to a new situation of teaching online. Despite the COVID-19 months, the Institute performed outstandingly in providing the best possible way of educating and supporting its students through this time.”

Due to the relaxation of the corona measures as of mid-May, it was possible to hold the last class of the year, Applied Sport Performance Skills, and the graduation ceremony in person in the Frans Otten Stadium and Hotel Jakarta in Amsterdam, respectively. After more than three months, the students were able to reunite, albeit at a distance of 1.5 meters. The international students, who were unable to travel to Amsterdam, were digitally present via ZOOM. And so this special and historic academic year could be closed in a positive way.

According to Charlotte: “This year at the Institute has brought me a ton of memories, both academically and personally, that will have an everlasting impact on me. The diverse group of students, and professors, gave me a varied perspective on class material as well personal opinions about the different matters that we discussed. I look back on this year, which has left me with a close network of friends and colleagues and a head full of knowledge about the sports industry, with pride and joy.”

Another student, Gilles Mbiye-Beya, who is working at Royal Antwerp FC, said “the past year was great and very educational. I have not regretted choosing to do this program for one moment. It has been one of the best years of my professional career and I am very grateful that I was able to participate with this group of individuals from all over the world.”


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