DOHA – Qatar’s capital recently hosted the 79th congress of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS).
The latest annual event gathered more than 200 delegates from more than 100 countries. Kazakhstan Association of Sports Press (ASPK) President Ilyas Omarov and General Secretary Stanislav Filippov represented their nation.
The participants discussed the most urgent problems of modern sports journalism, including security at major athletic events and further enhancing conditions for efficient media coverage, gender equality in the industry and various ethical aspects of sports reporting.
The speakers included International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin, International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) President Bruno Grandi, senior managers from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and International Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the organising committees for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro 2016 in France and Winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
During the congress, the participants visited the Qatar Foundation and the city’s well-known Aspire Academy and became acquainted with construction of facilities for the FIFA World Cup to be held in the capital in 2022.
The Kazakh delegation used the plenary and regional sessions, as well as numerous bilateral meetings with foreign counterparts, to promote EXPO 2017 Astana and Winter Universiade 2017 Almaty. Many delegates noted Kazakhstan’s sports achievements, including those of boxers Gennady Golovkin and Serik Sapiyev, weightlifter Ilya Ilyin, tennis player Zarina Diyas, cross-country skier Alexey Poltoranin and figure skater Denis Ten, as well as the country’s experience in organising international sports events.
“Kazakhstan has made impressive progress, not only in political and economical spheres but also in sports, having at the same time a lot of potential for further development,” said AIPS President Giovanni Merlo, who added he hopes to visit the exposition in 2017.
Following the event, participants representing Asian countries gathered in Manama, the capital of neighbouring Bahrain, for the 18th congress of AIPS Asia, or Asian Sports Press Union (ASPU).
During the general meeting, Omarov made a presentation about the Universiade and expo. The delegates noted the events are valuable platforms to discuss relevant international issues and elaborate on practical solutions where each participant, including small developing nations, can contribute to the debate.
One of the important meeting moments was the election of new members to the ASPU executive committee for 2016-2020. Omarov garnered the most votes, along with representatives of United Arab Emirates, and became Central Asia’s first representative in the congress’ governing body.
Commenting on the results, Omarov noted the election of a Kazakh delegate reflected the Asian sports journalism community’s recognition of the country’s sports achievements and its role in the international sports movement.