April 22 - The Baku 2015 Games Academy, designed to help create a legacy for people involved in the inaugural European Games, has been launched.
The programmes will allow the Games Academy to support the creation of a lasting capability legacy in Azerbaijan, it is hoped.
This unique initiative is being led by Baku 2015 and the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, whose Patron is the country's President Ilham Aliyev, and has been endorsed by the European Olympic Committees (EOC).
"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," said Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports and Baku 2015 chief executive.
"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 programme, which will see 199 candidates have the opportunity to develop their talents to make the most of the European Games experience.
The intake will be made up of 150 students from universities in Azerbaijan and 49 from the countries of each participating National Olympic Committee.
"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," said Patrick Hickey, President of the EOC and the architect of the European Games.
"This academy is an example of how the EOC and Baku 2015 share the same vision for the inaugural European Games to leave a footprint of sports management best practice.
"The delivery partners that Baku 2015 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 organizers and the EOC."
The programme will include three weeks of intensive training, with participants then given real responsibility for planning and delivering Baku 2015 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, officials promise.
The entire local Baku 2015 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, it has been claimed.
"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," a spokesperson for the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation said.
Gavin McAlpine, who worked for both Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 and is now director of operational capability and readiness at Baku 2015, will oversee the Academy.
"We believe that the Games Academy is unique in the major events industry," he said.
"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."
To find out more details, including how to apply, click here.
Applications are due to close on May 8.
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