Six months of the academic year gone, only three left. As I wrote down in my first publication, there is much more to just studying when you are in the University of Jyväskylä and part of the SposMaPro programme so I can openly admit that I am not keen to see the year ending. Nobody wants good times to be over, do they?
The diverse opportunities to enjoy your free time are as interesting and exciting as in the first semester, but this time I will share some experiences from the world of the academic life. At the end of the day, we are here because we want to get a deeper understanding of sport with the help of academic knowledge. We are of course, a bit biased which is not necessarily always bad but part of the learning process here includes trying to be more objective, give way to scientific evidence and make an attempt to distance ourselves from opinions, generalized statements and attitudes created by emotions.
The variety of modules that are included in the programme are quite useful tools for doing this. Apart from just learning more facts, we are allowed to develop our capabilities of interpreting why something is the way it is. A few examples in our case, why are we taking part in sport, why are we watching sport, why playing sport is a common free-time activity in one country and not in another, why is professional sport losing its integrity and what can we do about it…..these are some of the questions that I’m trying to find the answers to and I believe many of you interested in sport and physical activity have similar thoughts.
In the program we have so far been able to look at the sport phenomenon from numerous perspectives including: societal, organizational, business, media and tourism on a Finnish as well as international level. Classes are always delivered in an interactive manner which allows each of us to share their views and add to others’ understanding. I am looking forward to the new modules which will focus more on the public policy and health-promotion aspects of sport after which there is a Summer School organized by our University where we will certainly enhance our knowledge in those areas.
Talking of Summer School, as you may have already discovered from my class-mates’ posts, we had a Winter School at the start of 2016. This is another reason to be proud of doing the SposMaPro program; the level of organisation and the diversity of the two-week program (academic-wise and sport-activities-wise) were excellent. Lecturers’ attitude is always responsible towards students which is always helping your motivation when you prepare assignments and study for exams. There is of course a lot of self-study that we do but kindergarten and primary-school years are long gone, right..? Moreover, all the resources we need to produce high-quality academic work, such as big library, electronic materials, computer suites, group-study rooms, and academic supervision are available to us so the conditions are here for some strong contributions in academia to be made.
Now I can comment from personal experience that the Sport Management and Health Promotion programme offers a strong set of tools for students to really become masters in the field of sport management – it’s down to each of us whether we will utilize those tools. A few weeks ago we completed a Sport and Media module led by a genuinely interesting lecturer whose main advice to us was to make an informed decision on whether we try to change something about the big problems in the world and in sport, in particular, or we decide to go with the flow. This notion reminds me of a song called Green Signals by one of my favourite bands (Сигнал) meaning Signal in my language, in which the lyrics talk about the green [traffic] signals for the young to make their horizons bright and blue. If you are interested in seeing the lyrics but you don’t know Bulgarian you can find them here, translate them here and listen to the song from here. In the University of Jyväskylä, I feel that the signals are always green for us students to work for achieving the bright blue horizons!
Maybe some of the readers are current applicants to the Master’s programme so I want to wish you a successful application!