The United States Sports Academy’s program with ProfTraining Finland and the Finnish Varala Sports Institute to help students in that country train to become sports professionals has produced its first class of graduates.

The Academy taught its renowned International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) post-secondary, non-degree program there fully online for the first time.  Under the guidance of Academy instructors, every student in the cohort completed the ICSM program and received their certification.

The students were able to complete the program in approximately eight months and are now considered Academy alumni, which will provide them access to a network of thousands of peers working in the world of sport. The program focused on relevant sports management topics such as administration, sports marketing, sports facilities and events, sports business, human resources, sports security, and public relations.

The Academy will offer the program in Finland again in Fall of 2020.

Formula W racecar driver Emma Kimiläinen was a member of the first Finnish student cohort. She said online studies are perfect for a person like her, who is an active professional athlete with a family and responsibilities.

“I can highly recommend studies with the United States Sports Academy,” Kimiläinen said. “The Academy’s online options are especially beneficial right now with what’s going on in the world. No matter where you are, you can still educate yourself in this very moment.”

Academy Provost Dr. Tomi Wahlström said he was pleased that the program had a 100 percent retention and completion in the institution’s first fully online international program.

“I am particularly excited about this program since I am from Finland myself,” Wahlström said. “It is a great honor to work with Atte Varsta and the ProFTraining team, as well as Varala and these outstanding students. We are also excited that Emma Kimiläinen was part of this program.

“This is the first of many programs we will offer in Finland, and we look for a very rewarding long-term relationship with our partners as well as success for our new students. I was particularly pleased that every student who participated finished the program.”

Joining Kimiläinen in finishing the first iteration of the program in Finland was a group of students with a diverse background in sport.

Proftraining Finland Oy specializes in training, education, and coaching concepts of exercise and sports, providing solutions for well-being and an energetic life. The company was founded in 2015 by Anne Puranen, Viivi Kettukangas, Raisa and Atte Varsta. More information can be found at

Varala Sports Institute is the oldest sports institute in Finland. It is a nationwide training and education center for elite sports, exercise science, rehabilitation, and physical training. The institute is located on the beautiful lake of Pyhäjärvi in Tampere. For more information, go to

Since its founding nearly a half-century ago, the Academy has leveraged its role and resources as a special mission sports university to make a global impact through quality sport instruction, research and service programs in 67 countries around the world. These contributions have varied in scope from the full-charge conduct of a nation’s entire national sport effort to individual coaching clinics, seminars, and symposia.  For more about the Academy’s international programs, go to

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.

The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala.  For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit