Dimitris Balomenos is a former athlete and experienced sport development, consulting, and education professional. He studied Management at Deree and has a BSc in Physical Education and Sport Science, and an MA in Sport Management.
For 18 years he was a successful professional taekwondo athlete, competing in several tournaments and winning a gold medal at the European Club Championships.
In 2010 he founded a sports academy in Greece, where people were inspired to be active, and connect with sports and their values. The academy has since served as an incubator for athletes and young champions. At the same time, Dimitris has been working on delivering projects and studies for international sport organizations in Lausanne.
Since 2021, he was appointed Research and Project Manager for AISTS (International Academy of Sport Science and Technology), an organization founded by the International Olympic Committee. Part of his role is to manage the mandates delivered to the IOC and most of the International Federations located in the region.
Q: What are three enduring values Deree has taught you?
Curiosity – Creativity – Open-mindedness
Q: Describe Deree in three words.
Progress – Quality – Innovation
Q: Which is your fondest memory from your time at Deree?
I had taken up Music as an elective, and as part of the participants tasks, not only I had visited the Megaron, but also one of the sessions was so energetic that actually felt like a concert. I would love to relive this experience!
Q: What do you miss most from your days at Deree?
The feeling of going to an American college, like in the movies! The facilities and the whole setup were very motivating. I was attending the Greek public university at the same time, pursuing a second degree, and I could tell the difference.
Q: If you could go back in time, is there anything that would you do differently?
I would have spent more time on campus, would have participated in more activities and would have engaged more with classmates. Being an athlete did not leave me time for any of these and I have realized that I have missed many nice opportunities.
Q: Where was your favorite spot on campus?
The computer rooms! Back then, access to desktops and the Internet was not for granted and I could not wait to go and search all the information I was interested in, either for the needs of the courses or for my personal use.
Q: Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Dr. Maria Teresa Gastardo, Professor of Statistics. She was a very nice and intelligent lady with very strong skills in transferring knowledge and explaining her subject both theoretically and practically.
Q: After graduation, have you maintained a relationship with your school and classmates?
Unfortunately, I have not. As mentioned above, I was on campus only for the courses and did not spend time in socializing enough to create closer bonds with other students. However, Deree has been part of me and this is why I am very excited now with the alumni chapter.
Q: Looking back, how did your time at Deree help you become the person you are today?
Deree has helped me in several ways. It has set my standards for education and services very high on both ends, either as a consumer or as a provider, which has proved very valuable later in my career. Moreover, it was a very diverse society, something that has broadened my mind and added to my personal development.
Q: What advice would you give a new Deree student?
To make the most out of it. Absorb all the knowledge that the professors and the teaching materials can offer, participate in as many activities as possible, use the libraries and sport facilities, and extend their network.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?
From people who, to my mind, have done something great. Or from people who have performed better/achieved more than me. Nature, music, and language also inspire me a lot.
Q: What is your motto in life?
Always remember why you started. It is then that the motivation and excitement are high, that the purpose is clear. During the course, you may divert or change your purpose for several reasons, without necessarily realizing it. Focus, insist, and you will make it.
ACG Alumni: We Stay Connected!