Arcada supports athletes to combine top level sports with studies

Published: 15.02.2023 / Education

Arcada's partnership with The Helsinki Metropolitan Area sports academy Urhea supports those who want to focus on their sports career and get an education at the same time. For the students, it's valuable to be able to get a degree while aiming for the medals.

Brothers Oskar and Robert Kirmes are in their second year of studying business administration at Arcada. Beginning their studies at this point of life was not an obvious choice for either of them, as they are both training and competing at an elite level in gymnastics with their sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“Arcada's collaboration with Urhea was a key factor in enabling us to combine sport with studies. With competitions and training camps, there may be periods when we are away for several weeks. It has worked very well thanks to the support of the teachers and study counselors and we can highly recommend Arcada," says Robert Kirmes.

Finding the time can still be a challenge sometimes, and a top student athlete needs self-discipline and the ability to prioritise. At the same time, the studies are a balance to the sport.

“Of course, you have to take more responsibility yourself and also ask for more help, but there has never been a problem finding a solution. We have a good system where we agree in advance on how our studies will be organised when we are away, and the teachers trust us as long as we deliver what we promised.”

The reason for studying business administration is also linked to the passion for sport.

“We dream of being able to work with gymnastics through our own company one day in the future. The studies give us an understanding of the business world and what to consider as an entrepreneur. Through our practical training, we are now building networks that combine both of these paths," says Robert Kirmes.

Combining sport and life - for 20 years

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area sports academy Urhea turns 20 this year and Arcada has been involved since the start. Every year, about 20-30 of the UAS’s students participate in the collaboration.

“Reaching top level requires many years of intensive effort, and at the same time interval as you should be studying. It can be challenging to begin the studies when your sports career is over, or in the worst case, a sudden injury can put an end to your dreams. That's when it's good to have a degree," says Joachim Ring, Degree Programme Director for Physiotherapy and responsible for the Urhea collaboration at Arcada.

While Urhea offers the students services and expertise in sports, Arcada provides support in how to combine the studies with sports activities.

“We have an important role in offering students who want to pursue a dual career this opportunity. The importance of both sport and education is great in society and being able to combine the two is a win-win situation for everyone,' says Ring.

Picture: Personal photo

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Category: Education