Sochi, Baku to host Association of International Press for Sports Congress in 2013, 2014 respectively

The global platform for sports journalists from all over the world to meet and brainstorm on the way forward is the Association of International Press for Sports (AIPS) Congress, which is held annually.

The Congress, a platform for assessing the performance of sports journalists across the globe and for discussing innovations for the future has been rotating annually.

With the 2012 edition over in Innsbruck, Austria, the next destination is Sochi, Russia – a city at the brinks of the Black Sea, which is also expected to host the next Olympic Winter Games in 2014, in a year after the Congress.

At a brief ceremony in Innsbruck, the AIPS flag was officially handed over to Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitriy Kozak jointly by the President of Austrian Sports Media, Michael Kuhn and AIPS President, Gianni Merlo.

“And for Sochi this will be as well one of the most important tests. I’m sure that you will find in Sochi the best possibilities to work thoughtfully – welcome to Russia, welcome to Sochi,” said Kozak.

Some delegates described the 2012 Congress as the coldest in the history of AIPS, and said the conditions in Sochi are just in sharp contrast with Innsbruck which hosted over 250 journalists from 106 nations.

Also in line for the 2014 edition is the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, a city which has demonstrated a great love for hosting several sporting events since it became independent.

“The sports world of Azerbaijan has been booming after the country became independent” said Dr. Chingiz Huseynzada, Vice-President of the country’s National Olympic Committee, who presented the host bid on behalf of his country.

“Indeed, athletes from the country have made remarkable successes during international competitions, while the construction and continued support of sports organizations and infrastructure within the country itself has made a major impact.

“In recognition of Azerbaijani capital’s achievements, Baku has been frequently chosen to host significant international events, including the European and World Championships. In 2008 the city was first shortlisted to host the 2016 Olympics, while last year Baku has made the second bid for summer Olympic Games of 2020”. Dr Huseynzada noted.

He added that “the invitation of the international sports media to the Congress in Baku has perhaps never received such kind and direct support from the host State. The Azerbaijani President, IIham Aliyev is the head of the country’s NOC, and thus the AIPS Congress will become a State matter for Azerbaijan”.

“Bringing the AIPS Congress to the city would immensely benefit all of us”. The attendance of representatives of world sports media would make an immense difference for the regional journalists, giving them an opportunity to exchange experiences and heighten their level. At the same time, Baku would be a remarkable experience for the international journalists”. He stated.

The Congress was attended by Ackah Anthony, President of the Ghana Sports Writers Association (SWAG) and the General Secretary, William Dodzi Ezah.

Source: GNA

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