Sports

Sochi: Sierra Leonean Sports Journalists To Benefit From AIPS Projects

21 April 2013 at 08:21 | 1825 views

By Frank Cole in Sochi, Russia.

There is a glimmer of hope in the horizon for young Sierra Leonean sports Journalists to benefit from the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) ongoing projects, the re-elected international sports association boss Gianni Merlo (photo) has disclosed to the Sierra Leone delegation comprising the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) President Mohamed Fajah Barrie and Secretary General Frank Cole, during the just concluded AIPS 76th Congress held in the 2014 Winter Olympic City Sochi, in Russia.

The AIPS already has in the pipeline projects to train young sports journalists by acclaimed international sports journalists around the globe outside their different respective domains, and offer full sponsorships to a few to cover international sports events.

Merlo said: “you don’t expect us to purchase air tickets for delegates to attend congress...no,” adding: “however, we have projects to train young enterprising committed and disciplined sports journalists and sponsor them to cover international sports events.”

He disclosed that of the eight already trained AIPS ‘young sports journalists’ around the world his association would be sending at least one to the 2014 Winter Olympic in Sochi Russia, and that the lucky person will be provided with a Thousand United States dollars as per-diem.

Ask whether Sierra Leone will in future benefit from such projects the AIPS President Gianni Merlo swiftly responded: “why not!” “Once you have committed and disciplined young sports journalists falling within the required age bracket surely they will be considered for our various projects.”

Meanwhile, the unopposed elected President of the AIPS Africa, Nigerian-born Mitchell Obi has also re-established official contacts with the SWASAL delegation.

President Obi, who also heads the Africa Sports Journalists Union (ASJU), warmly welcomes the SWASAL dele and promised the local sports association would be regularly notified and be part of all ASJU activities.

He said: “I was extremely glad to know on arrival in Sochi that the Sierra Leone delegation will be part of this year’s AIPS Congress. As African brothers and neighbours, ASJU will hence forth notify Sierra Leone on all its activities and expect you to be part of such activities.”

Responding, the SWASAL President Mohamed Fajah Barrie promised full cooperation with ASJU.

Barrie said: “as head of the ‘new SWASAL’ I will ensure my association keeps track and fully participate in all future ASJU activities.”

Below are members of the AIPS Africa Executive Committee:

President-Mitchell Obi (Nigeria)

1st VP-Mourad Moutaouakil (Morocco)

VPs-Kabulo Kabulo Muana (DRC) & Amadou Dioulde Diallo (Guinea)

General Secretary: Emmanuel Gustave Samnick (Cameroon)

Deputy Secretary-General: António Gonçalves Ferreira (Angola)

General Treasurer: Felix Sohounde Peperipé (Benin)

Executive Committee Members: Ibrahim Abdallah Mustafa Hema (Libya)

Ntoto Lacombe (Congo)

Yonas Yeshome (Ethiopia)

Mufti Mohamed (Sudan)

Mohamed Slimane (Niger)

Rougui Alassane Niane (Senegal)

About Gianni Merlo

Gianni Merlo is the President of AIPS (International Sports Press Association) and Chairman of the Press Commission of IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations). He is a member of the Press Commission of IOC and well as of the Media Committee of FIFA. He had also served as President of the European Sports Press Union (1984-88) and has worked as a journalist and TV commentator.

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