The Latvian Academy of Sports Education (LASE) is an academic and a professional public higher education and research institution, established on September 6, 1921, acting in accordance with the Law on Higher Education, LASE Constitution and the laws and regulations regulating the activities. LASE is the only sports higher education institution in the country, which guarantees the unity of study and scientific research in sport science and health care in sport in accordance with the "Latvian National Development Plan 2014-2020", "Science, Technology Development and Innovation Guidelines 2014-2020", "Smart Specialization Strategies 2014-2020", "Education Development Guidelines for 2014-2020" and "Sports Policy Guidelines 2014-2020" for students to obtain academic and scientific degrees, vocational qualifications and promote innovation in sport science and health care in sports. LASE is a scientific institution, on May 9, 2006, registered in the register of scientific institutes with No. 172075. LASE activity reports are reflected on the Academy website lspa.lv: publicly available annual self-assessment reports. LASE vision: an internationally recognizable and one of the leading sports universities in the Baltic Countries, educating sports and health-care professionals in sport, reinforcing LASE academic, scientific and financial potential.
To provide an internationally recognized quality studies, develop innovative research in sports science and health care in sports, integrating it in the study process, which ensures the preparation of competitive sports specialists, promotes the development of the Latvian state and society, supports the technological progress of the national economy. To ensure the contribution of LASE as national and international importance education, science and sports university to the sustainable development of sport and health care in the sport. LASE primary goal is to provide students the opportunity to pursue higher academic and higher professional education and training, develop sports science and research in healthcare in sports, to develop culture to preserve intellectual and physical potential necessary for the Republic of Latvia (LR), promoting and ensuring the harmonious development of the nation
90 Years of History
On September 6, 2011, the Latvian Academy of Sports Education celebrated its 90th anniversary of Latvian higher sports education in general and its foundation in particular. The necessity for establishing a special education institution arose in spring 1919 when the progressive press of that time noted that physical education theoretical issues and forms of its organization require their scientific foundations. The Latvian Ministry of Education accepted this necessity of society, and on September 6, 1921, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to establish the Latvian Institute of Physical Education (LFII). Student theoretical education was started in Riga, Nikolaja (now: Valdemara) Street 1, and practice sessions were organized in school gyms and stadiums. The goal of the Institute was to train teachers of physical education, work out theoretical and practical issues of physical education, supervision of physical development and physical education in the country. The first leader of the Institute was Rumpmuiža school teacher Mārtiņš Krūze (Martin Kruze). Institute training lasted for two years and involved 1400 hours of theoretical and practical study courses. In specialist, preparation emphasis was put on their practical training, which accounted for 65.3% of the study volume. In turn, in practical preparation gymnastics and physical activities, connected with gymnastics, prevailed. This emphasis was influenced by the fact that at that time at schools physical education was called gymnastics, but the teachers - teachers of gymnastics. On November 3, 1922, the study plan, realized at the Institute, was reviewed introducing the condition that at the end of studying students will take an exam in each of 21 study subjects. On November 15, 1922, doctor Dr. Jēkabs Dille was the Head of the Institute.
In 1923 Pedagogical Commission determined exam requirements and content and approved the document received by graduates of those times. The first final exam requirements were similar to today's requirements and one of the major parts was - conducting lessons for school-age children and defending one’s chosen management activity. The first final exams were held from July 23 to July 27, 1923, and on August 8 of the same year LFII Council, acting in accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers Decision of September 6, 1921, decided to grant or not to grant the graduation Diploma, granting or not granting rights to work as a teacher. LFII ceased its activity in 1925, and during 5 years of its lifetime (1921-1925) 79 gymnastics (physical education) teachers were prepared and certified. Considering the importance of physical education and need to have teachers of Physical Education at schools, on October 2, 1926, within Latvian Folk University was opened Institute of Physical Education (LTU FAI). At the basis of the activity of LTU FAI the organization, the general character of studies and requirements of the former institute were used. The Institute worked according to plans and programs, affirmed by the Ministry of Education, the duration of studies was 3 years. Voldemārs Cekuls, inspector of Physical Education of the Ministry of Education was appointed to be the head of LTU FAI. During the time of its existence (1929-1940) LTU FAI prepared 189 specialists of Physical Education, from which 179 received the Diploma, confirming graduation from the Institute, but 10 – about having attended classes as listeners. LTU FAI ceased its work in 1940, and its head Voldemārs Cekuls was deported from Latvia on June 14, 1941. In the time period from 1921 to 1940, the Institute was graduated by 267 teachers of Physical Education.
The Latvian State Institute of Physical Culture (LVFKI) started its activity on January 1, 1946, by LSSR People's Commissars Council decision. Practical studies in LVFKI started in January 1946 in Riga, 6 Aspazija (then Padomju) Boulevard, where there were no special rooms and premises had to be rented for studies. The situation improved slightly on October 21, 1946, when additional premises were allocated in 3 Kaļķu street. By contrast, in 1951 the Institute got premises in 10 Kalpaks (then Komunāru) Boulevard and 4 Vēstures Street. Infrastructure improvement took place in 1959 when LVFKI study and sports complex was built in 333 Brīvības (then Lenina) Street. As an integral structural part of Sports University at all times has been the Sports Club (SKIF), which was founded on October 4, 1946, and throughout all years of its existence, its employees were organizers of student and lecturer sporting activities. At all times our students have gained considerable success at the international level, taking part and representing Latvia and the University in the world and European competitions, as well as in different level student competitions. In 1959 a 6-story study building was constructed. The prestigious qualifications, obtained at the University, and the growth in the number of students, associated with it, was the reason for constructing another building for studies and sports in 1982, and in 1986 - Athletic Arena. In 1989 the students of the Institute gained extra lecture-rooms and offices. In 1994, the premises of scientific laboratory and a shooting range were opened alongside the stadium.
During its existence up to the year 1992, LVFKI had prepared 5522 specialists with higher education and 151 - with special secondary education. On November 5, 1991, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Latvia with the order Nr.459 states that in the future to better reflect the higher education institution status and profile, its name will be the Latvian Academy of Sports Education (LASE). The first Constitution of the Academy was approved in Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia on March 10, 1992. To perform tasks set forth for the Latvian Academy of Sports Education Pedagogical Faculty worked in the Academy, and during the period from 1983 to 1991 also the Faculty of Coaches. The number of students of the Academy, compared with the figures of 1946, has risen several times: from 2 study groups in 1946 to 27 groups at the beginning of the study year 2011/2012.
- The number of teaching staff has also increased quantitatively and qualitatively: 3
- 8 members of academic staff, including 1 Professor, 16 Assistant Professors, 7 Senior Lecturers, 14 Lecturers, and Assistants worked there in the academic year 1946/1947;
- in the academic year 2011/2012, education work at the Academy was provided by 78 members of academic staff, including 18 Professors, 15 Associate Professors, 22 Assistant Professors, 14 Lecturers, 9 Assistants, including 42 members of academic staff having a Scientific degree.
All Academy students and successful graduates received higher education and were trained to work with very different qualifications, relevant to the time period, such as:
- Sports (Physical education) teachers;
- Biology teachers;
- Social sciences (health education) teachers;
- Anatomy and physiology teachers;
- Teachers of Military training;
- Sports coaches;
- Physical culture (Education) teachers;
- Education and Sport work managers;
- Active tourism managers;
LASE is the only higher education institution in Latvian, which coordinates and conducts research in sport, as well as educates sports science specialists. So far, scientific activity has mainly been carried out in the Departments of the Academy, but now several scientific research institutes with their own laboratories are formed, such as the Sports Science Institute, Recreation and Environment Institute, Teacher Education Development Institute, Institute of Movement Ergonomics. As a tradition for many years is the annual faculty and student research conference, in the framework of which lecturer and student investigations are approbated. A logical result of these conferences is an annual edition of Sports Science - LASE scientific articles. Sport for almost every LASE student has been an integral part of life. Students' active lifestyle determines both their quality of life and professional preparedness. A further goal of the Latvian Academy of Sports Education is to provide an internationally recognized high-quality study, develop innovative research in sports science and integrate it in the study process, which ensures the training of competent and competitive different sports specialists for the Latvian and international job market.