ISF Young Reporters

Young Reporters Program: Nurturing Tomorrow's Media Stars

At the outset of 2022, the International School Sport Federation (ISF) embarked on a mission to launch the ISF Academy, aiming to expand educational initiatives both during and beyond major sporting events. Among the array of projects undertaken were educational workshops designed for Physical Education (PE) teachers, held prior to and during events, as well as awareness-building sessions on critical topics such as safeguarding and anti-doping for young athletes. However, in July 2023, during the World School Football Championship in Morocco, a new international initiative emerged—the ISF Young Reporters Program.

The success of the world's most significant sporting events extends beyond the competition and the athletes themselves. Comprehensive media coverage necessitates the involvement of numerous behind-the-scenes contributors, including photographers, videographers, journalists, and content creators. Thus, the ISF Academy decided to launch a program aimed at young individuals worldwide, introducing them to the realms of reporting, journalism, and content creation within the sports world.

Exploration, Experience, and Encounters

Structured around multiple workshops conducted by industry professionals, this program stands out for its international character and hands-on experiences provided to the youth. After participating in workshops covering diverse themes, participants spend several days on-site, closely engaged with the competition and athletes, applying their newly acquired knowledge and honing their skills.

Samuel Collado, who hails from Costa Rica and took part in the 2nd edition of the Young Reporters Program during the ISF U15 Gymnasiade in Brazil, shares his insights: "This experience opened my mind to international media relationships. As a journalist, you have constant exposure to so many people and you are able to cover so many amazing events, such as the ISF U15 Gymnasiade I had a chance to work at."

Beyond the invaluable international exposure, the program fosters meaningful connections among the participants and with the program's facilitators and athletes.

"I believe that everyone - if they are able to participate in the ISF Young Reporters program- should join; it is an amazing experience that takes you out of your comfort zone," adds the young Costa Rican.

A Program Enriched by Qualified Instructors

The program's resounding success among the youth can also be attributed to the high caliber of instructors leading the workshops. Recognized internationally, journalists and content creators converged at two flagship ISF events during the summer: the World School Football Championship in Morocco and the U15 Gymnasiade in Brazil. Among them were Yomi Omogbeja, an African Athletics Journalist, who conducted a workshop on School Sport Journalism & Media, Alex Pussieldi – as an experienced Head Coach, journalist in GlobePerson and swimming analyst for broadcast and international swimming-, as well as Sintija Misina, a representative of the European Olympic Committee (Social Media Department). For the workshop on broadcasting and video production, the ISF Academy welcomed Katarina Sindjelic, a videographer and coordinator renowned in the Balkans for her acclaimed work in the Olympic realm for her sports-related film productions. The youth had the opportunity to be inspired by program’s experts while being led through different tasks in field.

A Tremendous Opportunity for the Youth's Future

On the surface, the program appears as an enticing opportunity, but for the vast majority of young participants, it represents a valuable addition to their CVs, aiding them in making informed decisions about their academic pursuits and shaping their future careers.

Hayat Haidass - ISF Young Reporters Programme

Hayat Haidass, a young Moroccan, was selected by the Moroccan School Sport Federation to take part in the inaugural international edition of the ISF Young Reporters Program during the WSC Football Morocco. This experience ignited a genuine passion for storytelling and the power of communication within her.

"This journalism program opened doors of opportunity for me that I never thought possible. By honing organization skills and teaching ethical communication approaches in sports journalism, this shaping opportunity made me overcome the fear of rejection, especially in my application process to higher educational schools, and encouraged me to pursue internships outside of my field of interest," she shares.

After initially struggling academically, she claims to have found her calling and is now actively working towards her childhood dream. Her dedication to her duties in Morocco led to her first international journey, taking her from her native country to Brazil for the second edition of the program during the U15 Gymnasiade. As a second-generation Young Reporter, her role involved coordinating the first generation and assisting them with interviews and video editing for social media.

"Being enrolled in this program will definitely serve me well as I aim for my dream job," she concludes.

Raphael Traverse ISF Young Reporter

Raphaël Traverse, a 16-year-old French student, had the same opportunity to take part in two sessions of Young Reporters in 2023. After joining the first generation in Morocco alongside Hayat, the young student flew to the Futsal World Championship in Serbia to practice as a journalist and sports commentator.

For the first time in my life, I was able to live a real experience as a sports journalist. I was able to practice what I dream of doing as a profession; not to mention all the knowledge and techniques I acquired”, he testified.

Giving back to local community: Sustainable vision

Programme is designed to bring together participants from around the world with students of the hosting country. This intercultural experience is shaping an international network of young media professionals who are set and ready to bring back to their local community. Using this knowledge in their school or at local school sport events is valuable not only for their community but their school sport organizations. To support continuous improvement, best performing participants have a chance to travel to upcoming ISF events as ISF Young Reporters with all costs covered. Knowledge sharing is conducted in a sustainable and never ending personal development.

The overwhelmingly positive feedback and enthusiasm displayed by the youth towards this program leave no room for doubt—both the inaugural and subsequent editions have been resounding successes, shining a light on the values of sharing cherished by the ISF. We eagerly anticipate the convergence of new generations at our upcoming events.

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