For the first time, Special Olympics is holding its World Games in the Middle East and North Africa region. Adding to the milestone occasion and spreading its stories will be six promising journalists from 4 continents as part of a new AIPS Young Reporters Programme.
The latest AIPS Young Reporter Programme will take place from 14-22 March in Abu Dhabi and is the fourth such collaboration with Special Olympics and the largest so far, following a successful programme at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria in 2017.
Thanks to the support of the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the promising young journalists, aged 21-28, will be joined by a seasoned AIPS mentor who will provide daily training on the coverage of an international, multi-sport event within the spheres of writing, interviewing, photography, video and social media.
The programme will focus on the role of sport in social inclusion, the importance of the setting and the region. Through these realms, the Young Reporters will engage with their own national athletes and with those from around the world to capture stories for AIPS and for their local media, in covering what is the largest sporting and humanitarian event in 2019.
The Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will gather more than 7,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 190 countries, who will compete in a total of 24 sports: athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, football, golf, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, handball, judo, kayaking, swimming and open water swimming, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing, table tennis, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.
Concurrent with the Games will also be a range of events such as the Global Inclusive Health Forum, the Healthy Athletes Tour, the Special Olympics Global Youth Leadership Summit and more. The AIPS Young Reporters will have the unique task of telling the stories and finding the right angles from in and around the Games.
AIPS President Gianni Merlo praised the newest collaboration between AIPS and Special Olympics. “As a Global Impact partner of Special Olympics, a collaboration that was renewed just earlier this year, AIPS is committed to spreading the message of the power of sport through this very important Young Reporters Programme. Within their work, these six young journalists have a crucial social and ethical responsibility, especially in these complicated times for sport and geopolitics, and have a unique opportunity to develop themselves further in Abu Dhabi,” the AIPS President said.
The journalists participating in the AIPS Young Reporters Programme in Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics World Games 2019 (March 14 – 21, 2019) are:
Ms. Erin Fish, USA
Mr. Denis Schiopu, Romania
Mr. Aly Ayman Behery, Egypt
Ms. Mercy Mmbone, Kenya
Mr. Viknes Waran Raman, Malaysia
Mr. Frederick Woehl, Germany