The history of Malawi sports journalism took a giant leap yesterday when the International Sports Press Association (Aips) 77th Congress in Azerbaijan capital, Baku, accredited and received in its fold the Sports Writers Association of Malawi (Swam).
“Do you accept Malawi as an accredited Aips affiliate?” Aips interim general secretary Evelyn Watta asked the congress comprising over 200 world sports journalists at the 22-storey five-star JW Marriott Hotel.
“Yes!” The congress roared, then gave Swam a standing ovation. Then Aips president Giani Merlo left his seat to congratulate Swam whose membership was accepted alongside that of Lesotho and Tunisia from Africa.
Membership means Malawi sports journalists will now be able to get accreditation to cover any world sporting event, they will access Young Reporters Training programme, and attend seminars and training across the world.
Aips would also intervene when the rights of Malawi sports reporters are trampled upon. Aips also has its continental affiliate called Aips Africa to which Swam is also automatically affiliated having met all requirements such as paying membership fees, submitting constitution, organisation structure and membership profile.
The congress, which also commemorates Aips 90th anniversary started on Sunday and ends today. It attracted sports organisations such as Fifa, Uefa, Special Olympics and International Olympic Committee top officials.
Baku hosts European Games next year hence using the congress to sell the country to the world. Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov opened the congress which discussed the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil, challenges on new social media against traditional press and ethics.