Doha hosts spectacular open-air AIPS Sport Media Awards ceremony

At a glittering open-air ceremony, Doha Sunday hosted the 4th edition of the AIPS Sport Media Awards at the iconic Khalifa International Stadium (KIS).

Sheikh Faisal bin Ahmed Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Sports Media Committee, joined AIPS President Giannin Merlo and dozens of other dignitaries at a stage positioned on the playing surface of Qatar's most revered sports venue where young and senior sport journalists were rewarded for their moving pictures, stories and documentaries.





Saad Al Romaihi, President of Qatar Press Centre, was also present.

The winners in each of the senior category won $8,000 as first prize while the second-placed and the third-placed nominees got richer by $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

The three best young reporters (in photography, writing and broadcasting) received trophies and a scholarship to a major international sports event to be held this year.

“I would like to thank Sheikh Faisal bin Ahmed Al Thani for hosting us in this magnificent arena,” Merlo said during one of his many speeches during last night's ceremony. “Without him we couldn't be here tonight. I hope everyone here have seen what young journalists are capable of. Last year was important for the sports fans and the athletes and the media world.

“These (pointing towards the screen on the stage) photos are from Tokyo Olympics last year. These are the photos of silent Olympics. There were no fans (in the stands). There were good photographers who reminded us of their great work in silence as people will remember this. We have to look to the future,” he added.

“Sport is part of our lives. It (sport) helps us to speak together. It helps build bridges. We have to applaud the people who cover sports in their own style and present it to the world,” he added.



“I once again thank Sheikh Faisal and Qatar Sports Press Committee for hosting us for the 4th edition of the AIPS Sport Media Awards. I thank everyone who is present here. I hope we can have this show again. Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees. Next year the awards will go to Greece and then Paris,” Merlo added.

“Our association is organising a lot of Young Reporters Programmes to show them the way. This is the path we’ve started in 2016, as we decided to invest in culture. Our commitment is to keep sport clean, and our only possibility is to build bridges,” Merlo said.


During the ceremony Sunday, Sheikh Faisal said: “Qatar feels proud to have hosted the AIPS family for these awards. I congratulate all the winners tonight. I applaud them for their hard work. We have hard working young journalists who tell us amazing stories through their work.”

Around 30 journalists from Serbia, the US, China, France, Australia, Algeria, Brazil, Bulgaria, the UK, Iran, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Italy, Uganda and Ghana were rewarded for their telling media stories.


PICTURES: Thajudheen

The gala was hosted by Italian journalist Valentina Clemente while Riccardo Romani - with experiences of covering wars in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iraq - delivered the early keynote speech.

“When I teach my class during our Young Reporters Programmes, I make aware our young students about the challenges posed by the constant changing of journalism,” Romani said Sunday.

“We, as journalists of sport, are the construction workers of those bridges. Its’ our duty now to work even harder to make them stronger. We owe this to the profession we love so deeply,” he said.

Among the awardees last night were New Zealand’s Joe Allison in photography, Jose Encarnacion (Puerto Rico) in Writing and Francis Hema (Ghana) in Broadcasting.

“I like to thank the Jury, AIPS, Doha for having us, and also my dad, who is in the crowd, and my mom, who is watching from home," Allison said after receiving her trophy Sunday. "Also thanks to Getty Images for giving me the opportunities. It is an incredible privilege to be here,” she added.

The winners

Photography sport action:

Andrej Isakovic

Writing Best Colour

Wufei Yu, Will Ford

Video Documentary

Matthieu Darnon


Tracey Holmes, Australia

Photography Portfolio

Ueslei Marcelino Da Silva, Reuters


Omar Boudi, Zoheir Boudi

Video Athlete Profile

William Moss

Writing Best Column

Kate Rowan

Video Short Feature

Maziyar Koopidar

Young Reporters category

Joe Allison (New Zealand) in Photography,

José Encarnación (Puerto Rico) in Writing

Francis Hema (Ghana) in Broadcasting

Special Award

Joachim Awulet Lartey, 95, Ghana

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes