Global master's program brings Olympic spirit to uOttawa

Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Three dozen smiling people gather for a group photo wearing mittens emblazoned with Canadian flags.

Undefeated: Members of sports organizations from around the world cheerfully took on the challenges of January in Ottawa.

By Robert Greeley

Thirty-one members of national Olympic committees and top sports organizations from around the world spent 10 days on campus in January, studying for an executive master’s and sampling the delights of an Ottawa winter.

MEMOS is an executive master’s in sport organization management aimed at professionals working in national or international sports bodies. Launched in 1995, the program is a partnership between the international Olympic movement and more than a dozen universities, including uOttawa. It involves three 10-day modules offered in different countries over the course of a year, before culminating in a final project. This year’s cohort gathered in Switzerland in September and will meet again in Macedonia in May.

Five men in winter clothing in front of a BeaverTails stall on the Rideau Canal.

Some of the current group, from countries such as Eritrea, Fiji and Panama, got to experience a northern winter for the first time. They saw their first snowfall, walked on the frozen Rideau Canal and, of course, ate BeaverTails.

Three women looking cheerful on the Rideau Canal during a snowfall.

They trekked out to the Canadian Tire Centre to see the Senators lose to the Arizona Coyotes. Back on campus, they watched the Gee-Gees women’s basketball team win a thriller against the Ryerson Rams and the men’s team drop a tight battle.

MEMOS participant Anthony Moore, who recently stepped down after four years at the helm of Basketball Australia, was impressed with everything the University had to offer.

“The campus facilities were amazing, with all you need in easy walking distance,” he said. “The Learning Crossroads building was first-class, which allowed us to study furiously for our 10-day block. We enjoyed the experience of the cafeteria, which is alive at all hours of the day and evening.”

A group of smiling people sitting with plates of food at a long table.

Tutors during the uOttawa module included Benoît Séguin and Milena Parent, professors in the Faculty of Health Sciences, along with lecturers from Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The uOttawa module ended on a high note when Professor Séguin learned that, as of 2020, he will be the director of the program and the MEMOS diploma will be issued by uOttawa.

Milena Parent and Benoît Séguin standing in front of a bookcase holding a MEMOS award.

Human Kinetics professors Milena Parent and Benoît Séguin are tutors in the MEMOS program.


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