March 6, 2015 By Frank Cole in Paris
History was made at the opening of the 78th International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Congress at Le Carrousel du Louvre Museum in Paris when, on Wednesday 2nd March, it was announced that the Abu Dhabi Media – also known as ADM – has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AIPS for a contract worth one hundred eighty thousand euros to host an annual sports awards ceremony.
The MoU is a partnership between both parties to stage the ‘Sport Media Pearl Awards’ in Abu Dhabi in December this year, the first international sports awards ever.
With its theme ‘Sport For A Better World’, the Sport Media Pearl Awards is an initiative of the ADM and aims at rewarding the brightest sports talents from around the world.
A representative from ADM, Hend Al-Otuiba, told the over 100 delegates and invitees that sport was a great unifier. He said the ‘Pearl’ forms part of the pre-oil economy in Abu Dhabi where young people would risk their lives for survival.
Mr. Al-Otuiba noted that the various categories of the awards include Photography (capturing of athletic prowess and emotion of both athlete and spectator); Writing (best column and best colour piece); Audio (special skills required to present content for radio, digital broadcast including podcasts and vodcasts); Video (documentary and action sequence); Journalistic Weblog (web-based community focused on discussion of sport and exchange of opinions); and Sport for a better world (aims to better the lives of the less fortunate or marginalized).
All submissions, done on both traditional and New Media platforms, must be submitted to www.sportmediapearlawards latest September 30th 2015.
He added that there are three ‘Special Awards Categories’ recognizing the achievement in the following fields: A life in sports; Investigating Reporting; and ‘Best App’. These are not open to submission.
“Winners in the nine specified categories will receive a special trophy and a cash prize of US$10,000. The first and second runners-up in each category will also be invited to attend the awards in December and will receive US$1,500. A special award will also be introduced for coverage of a social project involving a sporting initiative aimed at bettering the lives of the less fortunate or marginalized.
“The ‘Sport for a Better World Awards’ will carry a prize of US$10,000 for the media professional in question and a US$50,000 donation to the enterprise or project that is the subject of the winning coverage,” Al-Otuiba said.
He added that the final awards will be judged by an expert of 11 senior professionals from the sport media industry, under the championship of the AIPS president and including also a nominated Special Ambassador of Sport.
“The jury will be basing its decisions on the nominations put forward by a panel composed of AIPS Executive Committee,” the ADM representative Al-Otuiba concluded.
The AIPS president encouraged delegates to take the ‘Pearl Awards’ as their baby.
“New awards are very difficult to organize hence the task is on us all to work at least few hours a day…please translate the work of this awards in your own language. The website will be launched to collect all languages and after finding the best we translate into English,” said Gianni Merlo.
Credit: SWASAL; Sponsor: Mercury International (SL) Ltd.