International Olympic Committee awards Olympic Studies Research Centre to Stellenbosch University

2023 has continued to be a busy and impactful year for Maties Sport. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently approved and awarded Maties Sport the right to host an Olympic Studies Research Centre (OSRC). OSRCs are the brainchild of the IOC and form an integral part of the academic and research integrity of the Olympic Movement.

The newly formed Centre – the South African Centre for Olympic Studies and Social Impact (SACOSSI) – is only the second of its kind in the country and Africa, and one of 68 around the world. As the name of the Centre indicates, all output shall be aligned to meaningful impact.

SACOSSI will be led by one of SU’s Centre for Sport Leadership’s (CSL) Research Fellows, who also established the first Olympic Studies Centre in Africa in 2014 at the University of Johannesburg – Professor Cora Burnett – as Director (from 1 January 2024) and the CSL’s Head – Dr Nana Adom-Aboagye, will be its Deputy Director.

SACOSSI will aim to act as a leading research and academic entity in Africa and engage in multi-stakeholder collaboration for conducting impactful and engaged education, training, and research to inform policy development, strategic decision-making and knowledge production related to Olympic Studies and Sport for Development and Peace at all levels.

This mission will be supported by the 21 (3 local and 18 international) internationally recognized and highly productive Research Fellows that the CSL has been able to appoint during the year.

“The depth of scholarship among the Research Fellows translates to about 1,600 publications between them, which brings them to be colloquially named ‘The Dream Team’,” says Nana Adom-Aboagye. “The CSL and SACOSSI have indeed been able to attract a ‘dream team’ of scholars whose areas of expertise range from sport history, gender and sport, sport governance to cognition and e-sport, but to name a few areas of specialisation.”

The 21 Research Fellows represent 11 countries, spread across five (5) continents and will be affiliated with both the CSL and SACOSSI. The Fellows represent the following institutions:

  • Stellenbosch University (Prof Albert Grundlingh, Prof Cora Burnett & Dr Michele van Rooyen)
  • University of Technology Sydney, Australia (Prof Nico Schulenkorf)
  • Victoria University, Australia (Prof Ramon Spaaij)
  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Brazil (Prof Billy Graeff)
  • University of Calgary, Canada (Dr Araba Chintoh)
  • Palacky University, Czechia (Prof Simona Safarikova)
  • Brunel University London, England (Professor Vassil Girginov)
  • Durham University, England (Prof Iain Lindsey)
  • Loughborough University, England (Prof Richard Giulianotti)
  • Loughborough University London, England (Dr Holly Collison)
  • Université de Toulon, France (Professor Arnaud Richard)
  • University of Limerick, Ireland (Prof Adam Toth, Dr Ian Sherwin & Prof Mark Campbell)
  • Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand (Prof Lesley Ferkins)
  • University of Otago, New Zealand (Prof Sally Shaw)
  • University of Waikato, New Zealand (Prof Holly Thorpe)
  • The University of Edinburgh, Scotland (Dr Christine Nash)
  • Adelphi University, USA (Prof Meredith Whitley)

“We are proud to be associated with such high-caliber individuals and welcome them to SACOSSI!” says Burnett

Issued by Stellenbosch University

Liaise with Dr Nana Adom-Aboagye at or +2779 483 1975 for more information