L-R AIPS President Gianni Merlo and USJA President Oleksandr Glyvynskyy (Photo by Carlo Pozzoni/AIPS Media)
The situation of Ukrainian sports journalists amid war in their country was on the front burner of Day 4 of the 85th AIPS Congress in Seoul. When Oleksandr Glyvynskyy, the president of the Ukrainian Sports Press Association (USPA), took the stage on Thursday morning, he gave a heart-tugging speech on how Ukrainians, particularly sports journalists and athletes, are living in such a difficult time for their country.
ON THE FRONTLINE Glyvynskyy mentioned that 15 sports journalists are currently serving in the Ukrainian army and fighting on the frontline, including AIPS Young Reporter Vladyslav Dunaienko, who needed a special permission to travel to Rome in October 2022, having been invited by the AIPS president Gianni Merlo to share his story at the AIPS Congress there.
MESSAGE FROM VLAD Dunaienko sent a video message this time from the trenches, which Glyvynskyy delivered to the Congress. In the message, Dunaienko, in his army uniform, said he hopes to be back at football stadiums soon, reporting on matches and other sports events.
Glyvynskyy’s presentation also paid tribute to sports persons and journalists who have lost their lives as a result of the war in Ukraine.
SPECIAL AWARD Following Glyvynskyy’s presentation, AIPS president Gianni Merlo reiterated that AIPS is completely against the war in Ukraine and emphasised the AIPS’s solidarity with Ukraine. He then presented an AIPS award to the Ukrainian sports journalists.
“We have always supported and will continue to support Ukraine. We are also against the military invasion of Ukraine. War is going on in many places in the world but Ukraine is a symbol that we have to resist the forces that want to change our lives,” Merlo said.
“This award is for the Ukrainian sports media and it is awarded with a heart which distinguishes it from all the other awards. This award is for all Ukrainian journalists, especially for Vlad Dunaienko. Vlad is a young man, but when you read how he balances his thoughts, what he feels during the war is incredible. This award goes to the Ukrainian Sports Press Association in this special moment.”
GREAT HONOUR While receiving the award, the USPA president Glyvynskyy noted that it is a great honour and motivation for Ukrainian sports media: “this year we had a record number of Ukrainian colleagues who got nominations for the AIPS Sport Media Awards and our photojournalist Nikolai Synelnykov was fourth in the Photography Portfolio. We are grateful to AIPS for this recognition and support and will continue to work even in the war.”