The Estonian Academy of Security Sciences honoured its first student world champion Andra Aho

Andra Aho

Students of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences have previously become world champions and won medals at other championships, but Andra Aho is the first student in the history of the Academy who has become a champion at the World University Championships.

In the summer, Andra Aho, a student at the College of Justice, won a gold medal at the muaythai World University Championships. At the official opening of the academic year, Andra was congratulated by Andres Anvelt, the Minister of the Interior. Among the congratulators there were also Katri Raik (rector of the Academy), Ants Veetõusme (president of the Estonian Academic Sports Federation), Priit Kama (head of the prison service) and many other. Andra’s coach Kevin Renno was also acknowledged.

“The time a student spends studying on the tertiary level, should enable them to continue doing competitive sports, which is why the Estonian Academic Sports Federation that coordinates student sport has continuously supported the students to participate in universiades and championships. However, it is not easy to win a medal at a universiade or championships that are held alternately after every two years. Although there is a 25-year age-limit for the competitors, there are always athletes from amongst the very top athletes,” Epp Jalakas, Academy’s head of sports claimed.

The previous Estonian student who won a gold medal at the World University Championships was Rain Karlson (TLU), who in 2012 won a gold medal in heavy weight boxing. Before that, Estonians won gold medals at the world championships in 2008 – Maaris Meier (TLU) in cross country cycling, Mari-Liis Graumann and Natalja Bratuhhina (both EBS) in beach volleyball and Sander Vaher (TalTech) in middle distance run.

More than ten years ago, there were two students of the Academy shortlisted for the best sportsmen award – Allar Raja and Heiki Nabi. Allar won a bronze medal at the World University Championships in 2004. In the following years, Heiki also won a bronze at the World University Championships and a gold in the World Wrestling Championships. At the same time, there were also top level fencers studying at the Financial College – Maarika Võsu won a silver medal at the World Championships during her studies.

In the meanwhile, championships have not brought many medals for the Academy, although our students have had good results both in Estonia and at the international SELL student games. There were years the Academy had no students participating in student championships, but last year we could send three of our students to the universiade, and this year four to the World University Championships. Certainly, such competition between the representatives of different areas of sport and colleges serves as a driver and motivates students to have two parallel careers – to study and to do sports on a high level.

After the opening of the academic year, the celebrations ended and work to achieve even better results was started. The next break to do and play sports will be on 20 September, when the Academy and several other universities celebrate the International Day of Student Sport.