|By Samindra Kunti, AIPS Young Reporter, Belgium|
|ABU DHABI, December 15, 2015 – On Wednesday the Sport Media Pearl Awards in Abu Dhabi came to a conclusion with the announcement of nine winners in their respective journalistic categories. Jimmy Magee received ‘A Life in Sports Award,’ ‘L’Equipe’ won the award for Best App and Hajo Seppelt was lauded for his investigate skills.
The show at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Ballroom was a celebration of outstanding sports journalism and the first-ever Sport Media Pearl Awards, a collaboration between AIPS and Abu Dhabi Media as a platform for excellence and development of sports media and key industry practitioners.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development, addressed the audience and thanked the journalists for embracing sports.
Then AIPS president Gianni Merlo took center stage after his organization undertook a lengthy journey promoting the Sport Media Pearl Awards from the Turkmenistan International Sports Forum to the IAAF World Championship over sixteen different events.
“The Sport Media Pearl Awards are a beacon of hope when many have lost faith in the purity of sports,” said Merlo. “I am positive about the future of our profession despite the turmoil that has engulfed sports at all levels. We have to save sport and the values of sport. We have to fight against corruption, doping and match fixing.”
Jaap de Groot, the Telegraaf’s sports editor, awarded the first pearl of the evening to Anaman Fiifi from Ghana in the category Best Column with ‘How the Black Stars Stabbed the Nation in Cold Blood.’ Africa’s leading football journalist Mark Gleeson then proceeded to award a second pearl to Indian Express journalist Mihir Vasavda in the category Best Color with ‘Being poor in the richest sport.’
Fiifi gave a rousing speech, telling people no matter who you are or where you are from, you can make it.
“This event will not only inspire us but also create new friendships,” reacted Vasavda. “This is a celebration of all we have done. We often read each other work without knowing the face behind it.”
In photography, Ricardo Lopez won the category Athletic Prowess with ‘Women more than shadows’ and Robbert Wijtman prevailed in the category Emotion with ‘I just won.’
Dario Ricci claimed the Audio category with ‘Rocky Marciano,’ a story of boxing and emigration from Italy to USA. Donna de Varian awarded the category Journalist Weblog to Germany Stefan Nestler with ‘Too young for danger of death.’
“I dedicate this award to all my climbing friends who are living their passion, and my friends in Nepal who are really going through a hard time,” said Nestler.
Hajo Seppelt from Germany won the category Video Documentary with his much acclaimed documentary ‘Doping – Top secret: The shadowy world of athletics.’ Seppelt’s investigative work shook athletics to its core revealing an elaborate organized doping network in Russia. He thanked ARD, his invaluable sources, in particular the Stepanovs and paid an emotional tribute to his late mother.
Zhu He from China triumphed in the category Video Action.
Merlo closed a festive night of sports journalism by awarding the Best App in sports journalism to leading French sports daily L’equipe. Then Jimmy Magee received ‘A Life in Sports Award’ and Alessandro Del Piero awarded Hajo Seppelt yet again, this time with the special award for investigate sports journalism.
Paul Radley from The National won the last award of the evening in the category Sport for a Better World with his piece Street Kids Find Haven in Sport. The award aims to better the lives of those less fortunate or marginalized.
A full list of winners is available below:
WRITING – Best Column
1ST PLACE: How the Black Stars stabbed the nation in cold blood
2ND PLACE: The path out of the dark
Johannes Nedo | Germany | Tagesspiegel
3RD PLACE: What ’s left of Heysel thirty years after
Francesco Caremani | Italy | Il Foglio
WRITING – Best Colour Piece
1ST PLACE: Being poor in the richest sport
Mihir Vasavda | India | The Indian Express
2ND PLACE: The tale of Alexis Sánchez
Martin Mazur | Argentina | FourFourTwo Magazine
3RD PLACE: The Football of 1943
Nikolai Dolgopolov | Russia | Russia Beyond the Headline
PHOTOGRAPHY – Athletic Prowess
1ST PLACE Women more than shadows
2ND PLACE The flying Russian girl
3RD PLACE Relax in heaven
PHOTOGRAPHY – Emotion
1ST PLACE I just won!
2ND PLACE Listen to me
3RD PLACE Runners wave
VIDEO – Documentary
1ST PLACE Doping – Top secret: The shadowy world of athletics
2ND PLACE Heysel
3RD PLACE Sunakali
VIDEO – Action Sequence:
1ST PLACE Nina leaves with a smile
Zhu He | China | China Central Television
1ST PLACE Rocky Marciano
2ND PLACE The Body Shot Boxing Podcast
3RD PLACE A day in the life of the Giro
1ST PLACE Too young for danger of death
2ND PLACE Justin Gatlin and a run for redemption
3RD PLACE Crash bang wallop as sports politics is turned on its head at SportAccord Convention
SPORT FOR A BETTER WORLD
Radley Paul | United Kingdom | The National
A LIFE IN SPORT: Jimmy Magee
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: Doping – Top secret: The shadowy world of athletics, Hajo Seppelt
BEST APP: L’Equipe
Credit: Samindra Kunti, AIPS Young Reporter, Belgium
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