2019 Women In Sports Association (WISA) / Ghandour / OMY TV awardee Beatrice Laryea has urged her colleagues in the sports media to use their various platforms to affect the lives of their sources positively.
According to her, journalism is a tool for development and not for destruction charging her colleagues to be moderate in their critique of athletes, coaches, sports administrators and other stakeholders.
Speaking to the media from the sidelines of the awards ceremony held last Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium, Beatrice noted that it was important for sports journalists to be mindful of their reportage knowing the extent of the damage they can cause with their write-ups.
“So many of our athletes need help such as transfers abroad for career progression, scholarships to study abroad and training opportunities among others".
"We need to speak with the athletes, coaches, sports administrators and the other stakeholders in the industry and write stories about them focusing on their humble beginnings, educational backgrounds, family life, how they got into sports and their dreams and aspirations for the future among other things,” she said.
Proliferation of the media
She continued: “Such interviews, profiles and compelling stories will create a positive image, in particular of the athletes, which will enable them to attract those contracts and scholarships whether locally or internationally. With the proliferation of the internet, news travels very fast and wide, especially bad news, so we should be considerate in our reportage of negative stories.”
“That does not mean that we cannot criticise them when they do something wrong. We can do that, but in moderation considering the fact that they also have families, they worry, they feel pain and complain about such negative reportage. Sometimes we are overly critical and we end up denting their images,” she stated.
A total of 27 sports women and six teams who excelled in their respective endeavours were honoured at the fifth edition of the awards.
The well attended ceremony saw notable personalities such as fitness ambassador, Beatrice Afful, Secretary of the National Sports Authority, Mrs. Enyonam Broom, seasoned television show host, Kokui Hanson and famous sports supporter, Abigail Twumasiwaa Okanta showing up to accept their awards.
Also present to be celebrated were 2019 Africa Games gold medalist, Rose Yeboah, silver medalist, Grace Obuor, weightlifter and bronze medalist Winnifred Ntumy as well as former national athletes Mercy Addy and Grace Armah.
For the media category, Kokui Hanson of Kwese TV, Juliet Bawuah of Africa Women’s Sports Summit fame, Nana Akua Amankwa (TV3), Beatrice Laryea (Graphic Sports), Lawrencia Akosua Adjei (GTV Sports), Helga Gokah (Uniq FM), Angela Akua Asante (Triple A) and Naa Amerley Quaye (NB Sports) were duly recognised for their immense contributions to the promotion of sports in the year under review.
The rest of the awardees were Kelsey Woname (Fencer), Portia Adukwei Allotey (Multi Talented Sportswoman), Vanessa Kolokie (Body Builder), Victoria Agbeyeye (Body Builder), Ramatu Quaye (Boxer), Patience Borkor (Handball Coach), Adizatu Kubrah Mustapha (Footballer), Naomi Anima (Footballer) and Uwaisa Mawia (Footballer).
The teams that were awarded are the National Women’s League side Hasaacas Ladies, GRA Royal Ladies (Hockey Team), Ghana Taekwondo women’s team, Ghana Judo Team, Conquerors (Rugby Team) and the Die Hard Supporters Union.
In attendance were the Executive Director of WISA, Madam Gloria Commodore, president of the Women’s Sports Association of Ghana (WOSPAG), Mrs. Joyce Mahama, president of WISA, Madam Rosemary Gaizie, Madam Elizebeth King of the Ghana Hockey Association and president of the Ghana Kickboxing Association, Nii Adote Dzata I.
Also present were representatives from the National Sports Authority, the Ghana Olympic Committee and the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG).