Educational collaboration with German Sports Aid Foundation [Deutsche Sporthilfe] extended by four years
Two more former top athletes have now begun studies in the Part-Time MBA program at the Düsseldorf campus of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management: Thomas Lurz, 12-time world champion in open-water swimming, and Christian Friedrich, World Cup runner-up in the four-man bobsled event in 2011. Under their partnership, Deutsche Sporthilfe and WHU will jointly finance two athletes per year for the next four years.
"The sustainable promotion of young professionals in elite sports is a major aspiration at WHU. So I'm extraordinarily pleased that we were able to continue the arrangement with Deutsche Sporthilfe begun last year and agree on a lasting partnership for the next four years," explains Professor Sascha L. Schmidt, Scientific Director of the Center for Sports and Management at WHU. The two student slots in the Part-Time MBA program financed by WHU and Deutsche Sporthilfe are designed to benefit outstanding current and former top athletes who also meet the academic requirements for this course of study. Jörg Adami, Director for Promotion and member of the Deutsche Sporthilfe Board, adds: "An MBA degree from WHU is a springboard for athletes with particularly high professional ambitions and helps them meet the goals they are determined to fulfil in their second careers. For Deutsche Sporthilfe, this partnership is a lighthouse of the 'Springboard Future [Sprungbrett Zukunft]' initiative designed to offer athletes a path to a successful career after sports."
The first two athletes under the partnership matriculated at WHU last year: Dana Glöß (third in team sprinting at the Track Cycling World Championships in 2008) and Benjamin Starke (World Cup runner-up in swimming in 2009). Thomas Lurz is full of expectations as he embarks on his studies: "I realize that after a long time in sports, though I've completed my degree in social education and, parallel to that, worked at s.Oliver, I'm at the beginning of my professional career. The part-time MBA program gives me a great opportunity to further develop myself in fundamental ways and set out on a new career level," said Germany's most successful swimmer. "I'm looking forward to learning from the best. It's just like in top-class sports, where you train with the best to reach your goals."
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