International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Wed. 07 October 2020


Thuba Sibanda

Current Position: Programme Director at Physically Active Youth Namibia (

Year of graduation: 2018 (18th edition)

Nationality: Zimbabwean

What does your current role involve?

I’m currently the Programme Director of a sport for development organization called Physically Active Youth (P.A.Y) in Namibia where I am based. P.A.Y operates in the marginalized community of Katutura, Windhoek, where it uses sport as an enabler and tool for empowering young people through STEM focused, skill-based education, and SDG centered life skills that aim to build positive citizens able to transform their communities through sustainable, innovative development and social behavior change.

In addition to the work I do with P.A.Y Namibia I also manage my consultancy Africa Project Strategy Management working with grassroots sport-oriented organizations on strategy development and fundraising solutions to ensure sustainability of their models. My evenings and weekends are mostly dedicated to my football work as the Head coach of the University of Namibia women’s football team and sometimes assisting within the Namibia women’s football development structures. I am also part of the FIFA women’s football technical experts’ panel, something I’m truly proud of. I love my work and the flexibility it allows me to spread myself across multiple platforms. I also love how being operational allows me the joy of witnessing the transformative and life-changing power of sport everyday which is truly empowering for me.

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

Where to start? The FIFA Master course was truly a life-changing experience for me and every part of the course was instrumental in bringing me to where I am today.The first leg of the course at De Montfort University in Leicester offered a chance for new learning opportunities, challenged a lot of my preconceived ideologies and broadened my perspective and outlook, not just within a sporting or humanities framework or context, but on a personal capacity as well. The sheer diversity of the class, the unique learning experience, approach and lesson delivery ensured an insatiable interest in information assimilation and a growing desire to constantly embrace and apply all of this new knowledge.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sport Management module offered at SDA Bocconi School of Management, as it was everything I was looking forward to in terms of learning best sport management practices and how to make them applicable in any work environment or geographical context. The six sub-modules here all touched on relevant areas of interest to me, and I was able to get a clearer picture concerning sport business management and further equip myself in terms of identifying my niche in this ever-complex matrix that is the sports world.

The Neuchatel section of the course in Switzerland contained a series of interrelated sub-modules which gave me a holistic, 360-degree view of the sports industry. What stands out for me about this Sports Law module is the diverse experience of the lecturers we had, from extensive academic backgrounds, and the field visits that allowed me to see all of it in real-time and working in practice. I refer back to this newly acquired knowledge and the FIFA Master network every day because it has led me to the next level in my career and continues strengthening my path and informing my work every day.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

The FIFA Master course is an incredible experience that empowers and impacts you for life. It’s a course that is many levels ahead of its time and any student on the course will be able to receive tools and skills to navigate the complex world of sport while remaining relevant and in touch with both historical and current trends. The course aligns well with general current affairs within the sports industry and the humanitarian context too, while balancing that out with lessons that are adaptable across borders to remain applicable in any sporting context. In addition, the FIFA Master network is unique and links you with over 500 graduates around the world. It’s an experience based at top academic institutions and beautiful locations, with amazing people, and its benefits are lifelong.


FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 by the SportBusiness International global rankings.

Organised by CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (United Kingdom), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).


As of 1st October 2020 the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) has officially opened the application process for the 22nd edition (2021-2022) of the FIFA Master.

Please note that the deadline for applying is midday (12pm) Central European Time on Friday 8th of January 2021. Only complete applications received by this date will be considered by the Scientific Committee. 

Please click on this link to access the online application form

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