When podium rhymes with diploma

With one foot in the ring and the other on the benches of the University of Montpellier, athlete Adrien Rubis has won the title of world champion in Thai boxing and more recently the status of high-level sportsman at the UM.

Adrien Rubis, a student in the Science and Techniques of Physical and Sports Activities (STAPS) degree program, specializing in sports training, won the light heavyweight belt. To enable him to succeed in his training without letting his guard down, the young boxer applied to the University of Montpellier to be recognized as a high-level sports student.

5 hours of training per day

This scheme enables him to reconcile the practice of high-level sport with the pursuit of his university studies. "I'm currently in my 3rd year and only have a few months left to pass my degree and obtain a professional license to work as a trainer or physical trainer. It's an academic challenge that's very close to my heart," explains Adrien Rubis.

With this status, sportsmen and women can benefit from personalized support, including adjustments to their studies and exams during their initial or continuing training. "Since obtaining the title, I've received some very interesting offers to fight in Brazil and Thailand. With a modified timetable, I'll be able to take part in upcoming competitions abroad with peace of mind. Each fight requires two to three months' preparation, with 5 hours' training a day, 6 days a week", explains the young boxer.

Over 300 applications from top-level student athletes

High-level sports student status is granted by the UM, on the advice of the High-Level Sports Commission. The commission assesses the fit between the student's sporting activities and his or her university training. "Every year, we receive over 300 applications for individual or team sports," explains Vincent Rooryck, high-level sports referent at the SUAPS (Sports and Physical Activities Department). Among the 30 disciplines, rugby, volleyball, athletics, handball, lifesaving/safety, triathlon and underwater field hockey remain the most popular sports with students.

In return, selected candidates must make every effort to successfully complete their degree, report all their sports results to the administration and represent the UM in university championships. " In total, almost 220 high-level sports students have been recognized for 2021/2022. Students with this status sign a teaching contract with one of UM's 17 schools, UFRs or institutes," explains Vincent Rooryck.

Get status

To qualify as a top-level athlete, you must be registered on the French ministerial lists, or be in a "Pôle France" or under agreement with a training center, or meet the UM's sports criteria. Students wishing to obtain high-level sports status must apply online via the UM website and submit supporting documents.