For people with intellectual disabilities, the word no is often as familiar in their lives as it is unwelcome. No, you can’t play on this sports team. No, you can’t work here. No, you can’t sit at this table. No, your opinions, hopes and dreams do not matter.
But it is thanks in part to the efforts of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), that this ‘No’ is being transformed into ‘Yes’. This was the message from Special Olympics Europe Eurasia President and Managing Director, David Evangelista, who addressed the 82ndAIPS Global Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland this week.
“AIPS journalists are the one that help to put a face on people with special disabilities in their sports uniform. Be it on the pool, on the pitch, or on the basketball court. AIPS support of Special Olympics brings power to sport. No to yes, is the story of AIPS for the Special Olympics movement.”
In front of a sport media from all over the world, Mr. Evangelista and Gianni Merlo, President of AIPSAIPS, put pen to paper on a new three-year partnership, extending AIPS role as a Special Olympics Global Impact partner. AIPS has 160 association members and more than 9,000 individual members worldwide. As a top professional organization representing the international sport media, the aim of the partnership will see AIPS provide media support as well as generating awareness of people with intellectual disabilities through AIPS media channels. National member associations will also report on Special Olympics' athletes, events and advocacy initiatives globally.
Hot on the heels of the partnership signing, will be the next edition of the AIPS Young Reporters programme, which sees up and coming young journalists cover major international sporting events. It will feature at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi next month. The project is being made possible thanks to the support of Lions Clubs International.