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Last Friday, Maja Uebel, development manager of the Swedish Sports Confederation, and Kent Lindahl, director of the Confederation, visited Halmstad University.
"During the year we have taken a much more comprehensive approach regarding our sports-related activities. We have accomplished much in a short time; however, this is just the beginning," says Rasmus Tornberg, director of studies for the programme Professional Sports: focus on golf.
"There are a number of parameters that I think need to apply when discussing whether a university can call themselves a national sports university: Are there strong and dynamic research environments? Are there alternative career paths for the students? Is there strong support for the project from the University's management? Should Halmstad University take-on the responsibility for the future assignment, then it must result in increasing the value and status of our present activities," says Mikael Alexandersson, Vice-Chancellor of Halmstad University.
Currently the University has seven programmes with a sports and health science profile. In addition, there are several independent sports-related courses available to study. It is, of course, possible to combine sports with studying one of the many other courses offered, as students can get an individualised curriculum.
"It is a good example that has several of the components that are required for a national sports university," says Mikael Alexandersson.
Two similar programmes are planned to start at the university next autumn with a focus on handball and table tennis.
"To attract more athletes from other sports creates added value and helps to develop a unique elite environment where athletes can share their experiences," says Sofia Grönberg Whitmore, sports and golf coach at the Scandinavian School of Golf.
TEXT: LARS ÖSTERLIND