Unforgettable visit to Olympic Museum opens new AIPS Young Reporters Programme in Lausanne

Raphael Oni with Agency news

Twenty young journalists were treated to an unforgettable afternoon tour of the Olympic Museum, the fascinating embodiment of the rich history and values of Olympism, as a new AIPS Young Reporters Programme officially kicked off on Sunday, November 21, in the heart of the Olympic capital, Lausanne, which is also home to the AIPS headquarters. 

MESSAGE OF HOPE  The programme in Lausanne marks the significant restart of one of the most important initiatives of AIPS after a COVID-19-induced two-year hiatus and offers participants a unique in-person opportunity to learn from experienced AIPS Mentors – Martin Mazur (Argentina), Keir Radnedge (UK), Riccardo Romani (Italy) and Andrea Giannini (Italy) – and explore the operations of some high-profile international sports federations.  

The visit to the Olympic Museum on Sunday came between two halves of a packed five-hour class that introduced the young reporters to the topics they will be tackling all week, until November 27. 

Spread over three floors that explore different themes – Olympic World, Olympic Games and Olympic Sprit – using over 1500 exhibits and 150 screens, the Olympic Museum provided an in depth knowledge of the Olympic Movement to the young reporters. 

AIPS president Gianni Merlo led the group to the Museum. He has expressed excitement at the return of the AIPS Young Reporters Programme. “Now we are back, and I hope will continue in the future. This is a message of hope,” he said, describing the programme in Lausanne as “full and very interesting”.  

TOOLS TO SURVIVE Representing four continents, the promising journalists will benefit from a high quality and rich curriculum tailored to push them out of their comfort zones and equip them with necessary journalism knowledge and skills to confront present and future challenges across various media platforms. 

AIPS mentor Riccardo Romani said: “I am thrilled to be part of this in-person Young Reporters Programme.  I also feel a great responsibility because the world of journalism – not only sports journalism – has been shattered by almost two years of pandemic. Our mission in Lausanne and in the future is to convey to the students the urgency to rewire journalism to reality, while giving them the tools to survive in, possibly, the most challenging time in history for the profession.”  

VALUABLE VISITS Participants will also gain invaluable experience from meeting with some of the most important sports federations and organisations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), world football governing body, FIFA, International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), International Swimming Federation (FINA), International University Sports Federation (FISU), International Basketball Federation (FIBA), European Athletic Association (EAA) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS/CAS). 

AIPS mentor Keir Radnedge said: “We’ve all been waiting so long to go back out on to the pitch, so to speak, with a Young Reporters course. Like any sports team there is a limit to how much preparation is possible in the locker room. This particular course, though it’s only a week, is taking us to the foundations of modern sport and that is icing on the AIPS cake.”   

AIPS E-COLLEGE Some of the young reporters were selected from the two-editions of the AIPS e-College, an innovative distance learning programme launched amid an unprecedented pandemic situation to ensure the continuity of a core essence of AIPS; investing in the future of sports journalism. In spite of the lockdown, young reporters from all over the world stayed connected on Zoom to learn from incredible guests and mentor, discuss issues in sports and beyond and also make new friends – some of whom they now have the chance to meet in-person.  

AIPS SPORT MEDIA AWARDS The programme in Lausanne is also the prize for the winners of the Young Reporters category in the AIPS Sport Media Awards for the past two editions (2019 and 2020), whose reward of a scholarship to a major sporting event has been delayed for obvious reasons like complicated travel protocols and limited number of media accreditations during these challenging COVID-19 times.  

All participants will receive certificates at the end of the one-week programme.  

PARTICIPANTS The journalists participating in the AIPS Young Reporters Programme in Lausanne (November 20 – 27) are:  

Al Maskeen Qasem Hassan – Saudi Arabia          

Anna Szilágyi – Hungary  

Ari Schneider – USA  

Ayishatu Zakaria Ali – Ghana  

Azra Isic – Bosnia and Herzegovina  

Clarisse Sih – Cameroon   

Hamza Ait Messaoud – Morocco  

Idah Kamau – Kenya  

Ijeoma Okigbo – Nigeria  

Joe Weimerskirch – Luxembourg  

Mažvydas Laurinaitis – Lithuania   

Miguel Paulo – Uruguay  

Miha Trošt – Slovenia  

Peter Georgiev – Bulgaria  

Robert Witt – Germany   

Siddhart Kohli – UK             

Silvana Strieder – Austria   

Thrasos Demetriou – Cyprus  

Vladyslav Dunaienko – Ukraine  

Wojciech Nowakowski – Poland   

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