Aspiring journalists were given a remarkable opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Special Olympics during the World Games as they participated in the prestigious AIPS Young Reporters Programme, held in Berlin, Germany, from 17-25 June 2023.
This collaboration marks the fifth successful partnership between the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) and Special Olympics, made possible by the generous support of Lions Clubs International Foundation.
The AIPS Young Reporters Programme was specifically designed to empower these talented individuals from across the globe, providing them with invaluable training from experienced AIPS mentor and journalist Riccardo Romani. Throughout the program, they honed their skills in various areas, including writing, interviewing, photography, video production, and social media management.
At World Games Berlin 2023, the Young Reporters showcased their creativity by producing an array of captivating written and visual content. Their coverage spanned a diverse range of topics, encompassing sporting achievements, health initiatives, cultural events, and social engagements that formed an integral part of the World Games. Among the highlights were the Global Leadership Coalition for Inclusion, Healthy Athletes, and the Global Youth Leadership Summit.
The journalists participating in the AIPS Young Reporters Programme in Berlin for the Special Olympics World Games 2023 were:
- Tereza Šušnjara, Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Daryna Kalinchuk, Ukraine
- Máté Ladjánszki, Hungary
- Ömer Faruk Deliktaş, Turkey
AIPS President Gianni Merlo said: “Through our crucial collaboration with Special Olympics we have continued to spread the message of how sport is a powerful tool to change the world. We are pleased to present this very important and unique opportunity to six young reporters, for them to experience the coverage of the Special Olympics World Games, understand better their social and ethical responsibility and improve their journalistic skills.”
Special Olympics Europe Eurasia President and Managing Director David Evangelista added: “We are immensely grateful for the collaborative efforts of AIPS and their Young Reporters Programme. Through their remarkable dedication, passion, creativity and talent, these Young Reporters have brought the inspiring stories of our Special Olympics athletes to the forefront and have captured the essence and significance of the World Games Berlin 2023, amplifying the message of inclusion and showcasing the transformative power of sports.”
Lions Clubs International Foundation Chairperson Doug Alexander said: “Lions Clubs International Foundation is proud to be a Global Partner for Special Olympics as part of our shared and strong commitment to fostering inclusion through service. Across communities worldwide, our dedicated Lions Clubs leaders and volunteers are providing invaluable support to individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Our key services range from vision care and inclusive sports to refugee support and more. We commend the great work of the AIPS Young Reporters and their drive to bring this urgent message of inclusion to the world at a time when it is needed most.”
Germany had the honor of hosting the Special Olympics World Games for the first time, welcoming 6,500 exceptional athletes representing 176 international delegations who competed across 26 sports: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, 3x3 Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boccia, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Field Hockey, Football, Futsal, Golf, Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Handball, Judo, Kayaking, Open Water Swimming, Powerlifting, Roller Skating, Sailing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, and Volleyball.