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Master's students join sporting elite during trip to Austria and Germany

Business Management in Sport MSc students feel "enlightened and inspired" after visiting sport heritage sites in Germany and Austria.

The group from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) enjoyed a variety of experiences during the three-day trip, from visits to major professional venues to museums focused on sport history.

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With Britain having just netted its best-ever medals tally at the Winter Olympics, the timing couldn't have been better.

Associate Professor Dr Heather Dichter said: "Sport heritage is a growing part of the industry and there are many ways to portray it or offer it to the public. 

"The ability to visit another country that promotes sport heritage in sports popular in the UK, such as football, as well as others, such as ski jumping and bobsleigh, really helps students expand their horizons.

"The trip is so important to students' learning it has been embedded in the Sports Heritage and Legacy Management module."

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Prommanee Sombattpiboon, 30, said the entire trip, which included a tour of the Olympic ski jump stadium at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, was a highlight.

"It has been an eye-opening experience for me," she said. "This trip has widened my vision and helped me appreciate the creativity that humans bring to the world of sport.

"I would never have thought this subject would have benefited me so much. I am in awe of how museums and sport heritage can generate such an emotional, nostalgic feeling as well as revenue to the entity/city/country.

"I am newly inspired to share ideas, introduce a new perspective and develop a creative project in my home country of Thailand," added Prommanee, who is studying at DMU's Leicester Castle Business School after receiving a King Power Scholarship.

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Students visited the sliding track in Igls, which hosted bobsleigh and luge at the 1976 Winter Olympics, speaking with the owner of the event company that offers guest bobsleigh rides and going down the track in a four-person bobsleigh.

Dr Dichter said: "We had a chance to feel what elite athletes experience - not quite at the same speeds - which was amazing. 

"With the increase in interest in experiences, knowing how to offer and promote these kinds of opportunities will be a valuable tool for the students as they enter the industry after graduation."

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A tour of Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munich, was the highlight for 23-year-old Alex Marlow, whose ambition is to work for a professional football club, and classmate Paul Kaerger.

"The trip allowed me to view sporting heritage sites in person and hear from knowledgeable people involved in their running," said Alex.

"This will help contribute to my studies going forward."

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Paul, 54, whose career ambition is to transform Volleyball England into a leading national governing body, added: "I thought the Bayern Munich museum was excellent and the talk by the manager was enlightening.

"It is good to see sports heritage in context and see how various sports and stadia use heritage and how young this side of sports management is."

Posted on Monday 26th March 2018

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