WADA accepted an invitation from the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) to address a group of 60 journalists last weekend who were attending its Young Reports program at Universiade in Shenzhen, southern China.
Forty young reporters from around the world, along with 20 Chinese trainee journalists, were given a detailed overview of WADA by Terence O’Rorke, the Agency’s Senior Manager Media Relations and Communications, who then also took part in a question and answer session.
“It was a very important step. Most of the young reporters had maybe heard of WADA but had no idea what that meant or how it operates,” said Gianni Merlo, President AIPS.
“Not only on this occasion but in the future we must work together. If we must fight against doping we must give more knowledge, different knowledge, especially to the younger generation."
The young reporters were divided into groups, each with a mentor, while the program was coordinated by Alan Abrahamson, the award-winning former LA Times journalist and veteran of six Olympic Games.
WADA's presentation was part of an 11-day AIPS program that also included contributions from FIFA, CAS, IOC, Yahoo! Sports Canada, Nikon photo experts, and the international federations for gymnastics and judo.
“This was a valuable exercise as it allowed WADA to educate the young reporters on the exact nature of WADA’s role and the challenges it faces in the fight against doping,” said O’Rorke.
“Furthermore, it offered an insight into what these young members of the media already knew about WADA, and their perceptions of the Agency and doping in sport in general.
“Their knowledge of the subject, and enthusiasm to know more, was very pleasing.”
After a seminar session each morning, the journalists were given a choice of events at Universiade to report on later in the day.