Thuba studies FIFA Master at DMU so she can be 'part of the change in Zimbabwe'

An African student says she has come to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to study the prestigious FIFA Master course so that she can be “part of the change in Zimbabwe”.

Thuba Sibanda is one of 32 students from around the globe spending a term in the university’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) as part of a course backed by the world governing body for football, which will also see them study in Milan, Italy, and Neuchatel, Switzerland.

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She said: “I want to change the status quo of women in sport and to show that women can lead too.

“It has been my dream to be on this course so that I can learn more and make a difference.”


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Thuba has a degree in sports science, is a sports administrator for the women’s league and is National Development Coach for grass roots football in Namibia.

She added: “I know that football can change lives. It has the power to bring people together. 

“In Namibia I work in a sports development organisation and I see 120 youths a day teaching them life skills and coaching, organising educational outings and competitions.

“Football is helping them to see there is a future beyond drugs and alcohol and life on the streets.

“I know in my position I am a role model to young girls in my community because I am the only female in the position I am in. I want them to see that dreams can come true.”

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Thuba was excited about getting the chance to watch Leicester City, who achieved ‘the impossible dream’ when they defied odds of 5000-1 to win the Premier League in 2016, saying: “I am in Leicester now so I am supporting Leicester City. It’s Leicester all the way. When I go to a match I will be screaming my head off.”

The one year course involves students dedicating a term of study each at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) here at DMU, the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy, and the University of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland.

Previous graduates from the course, which this year was named the No.1 course in Europe by SportBusiness International for an unprecedented fifth time in their global sports management course rankings, have gone on to work with global brands such as UEFA, Manchester United, Manchester City and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Alumni include South Korea’s former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung, Japan’s 2006 World Cup Captain, Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, Women’s Champions League winner, Ami Otaki and New Zealand rower Emma Twigg, who was ranked world number one while studying at DMU.

Students from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, South Africa and most places in between said they had been hugely impressed by the DMU campus and the city of Leicester, as well as the course.

The course was founded in 2000 by the International Centre for Sport Studies (CIES) in Switzerland which runs the FIFA Master in association with the three universities.

This year was a particularly special welcome event for the students, with course Scientific Directors Martin Polley, Pierre Lanfranchi, and module co-ordinator James Panter being able to welcome the new class to Leicester in what is the 21st anniversary year of the ICSHC at DMU.

Read stories about some of the inspirational international students studying this year's FIFA Master each day this week

Posted on Tuesday 26th September 2017

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