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UEPS-kongres i Portugal

Mandag d. 28. april 2003


Agenda for the 2002 UEPS Congress, Oporto, Portugal, May 29 (0900)
1. Roll Call
2. Minutes of the 2001 Congress, already circulated
3. Matters arising
4. Proposals
5. President's Report
6. Secretary-General's Report
7. Treasurer's report
8. Any other business
9. Date of next meeting.

Our new board was elected at the UEPS Congress in Athens. There were only
11 candidates for the 12 positions to be filled, leaving one vacancy open
for later election. I raised the subject for discussion at the board
meeting in Salzburg February 13-16, 2003. There were differing opinions how
to handle this situation in the future. One suggestion was to go back to
eight members as it was from the start, while another was to keep the
present number of 12. The board decided to bring the question to the Porto
Congress for decision.
Since the Athens Congress, I have done some travelling. On October 22,
together with AIPS President Togay Bayatli, I was invited to the UEFA
headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, to meet with UEFA officials. The meeting
was initiated by UEFA President Lennart Johansson and its purpose was to
inform UEFA about the AIPS and UEPS activities and also to find a platform
of cooperation in the future.
We were well received by Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Michael Lee and Media Service Manager Robert Faulkner. A detailed report of
the sports journalist organisations, aims and needs was given. A report on
the weaknesses concerning the media organisation during EURO 2000 in
Holland and Belgium was also presented. Obviously, the intention was not to
criticize but to avoid the same mistakes in the future. A copy of the UEPS
25 years Jubilee Book was also presented to UEFA.
Finally we asked for financial support of a kind that has been given
before. The financial support from UEFA eventually materialised, via AIPS.
December 5-8 I was invited to the European Olympic Congress in Reykjavik,
Iceland. I once again met with President Bayatli and together we met with
representatives of the European Olympic Youth Festival in Paris. An
agreement was made to hold a seminar for young sports journalists on the
opening day of the festival, July 27, 2003. The subject of the seminar is
to be decided.
I also met with representatives of the Salzburg 2010 Winter Olympic bid
committee. This led to an invitation to host our board meeting which took
place February 13-16. In connection with the meeting the members of the
board were given a guided tour of the proposed Olympic venues.
Finally, in Iceland, President Bayatli, UEPS secretary-general Morley Myers
and myself were invited by our Icelandic colleagues to a warm and friendly
On December 13, the UEPS bureau was invited by AIPS to a joint meeting in
Budapest where we discussed different matters concerning activities in the
European continent and future cooperation. It was a fruitful meeting and I
like to thank President Bayatli for his hospitality and good initiative.
In mid December the annual poll for the European Sportsman and
Sportswoman of the Year 2002 was concluded.Thirty-one of our member nations
voted, an acceptable figure and the best for many years. But dear
colleagues why can´t we hit the maximum figure? It is not very much to ask
German Formula 1 World Champion driver Michael Schumacher won the mens poll
for the second year in a row and Croatian alpine skier Janica Koselic won
the womens vote.
On January 25, I was in Maribor, Slovenia, at the Alpine World Cup event
to present our Sportswoman of the Year award, a very nice crystal trophy
sponsored by the Slovenian crystal company Rogaska. Assisting me at the
presentation was the President of the company Davorin Skrinjar. The event
was covered by a large group of written press and the national Television.
The prize to Michael Schumacher will be given during the Formula 1 season
this year.
My first mission as re-elected UEPS President last year was to present
Schumacher with the trophy for 2001. The ceremony took place at the
Ferrari headquarters outside Bologna, Italy, in the end of May. He was
proud and thankful for the prize and impressed by the size of the trophy.
In 2002 our friends in Rumania celebrated the 75 years of the Rumanian NSJA
and I sent them a letter of congratulations on behalf of UEPS.

February 25 to March 2 I was invited by the South Korean Alpine Association
together with a group of European sport journalists to attend the World Cup
weekend in PyeongChang. At the same time I also had the opportunity to
study the PyeongChang bid for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. And if you
allow me to make a personal remark, I found PyeongChangs bid excellent from
the perspective of sports journalists. The vote for the 2010 Olympic Winter
Games will take place on July 2 in Budapest.
As a result of this visit, I was invited to PeyongChang again in early
April as head of a group of Nordic sports journalists.

In between these two trips, I was again in Budapest March 6-9 to attend a
meeting with AIPS Commissions chairmen. We discussed the commissions
different activities and how we can support each other.

March 26-30 I was invited by the Swedish NOC to take part in a reconnoitre
tour in Athens for the 2004 Summer Games. At this point I can tell you that
there will be seven different press villages in the city. The standard of
accommodation will vary from simple to luxury, but with one thing in
common. The official press hotels will be very expensive. Therefore, I
recommend all of you who are going there next summer to use your own
resources to find accommodation close to the subway which is very

In September, 2003, the European Basketball Championship will be played in
Sweden. I am working as press officer for this tournament which I hope will
be a successful one for the media. At the UEPS board meeting in Salzburg,
it was decided we should publish a magazine about the tournament for the
benefit of the press and hopefully it will also provide UEPS with some
money. To achieve this we need the help of our colleagues. The plan is to
have one colleague from each participating country to write a story about
their team and a small presentation of the coach and one or two key
Our board member and basketball expert, Esat Yilmaer, is the co-ordinator
and in charge of the operation.

2003 has been designated by the European Union as The Year of the Disabled.
At the Salzburg meeting, UEPS adopted a resolution in support of this to
make media all over the continent aware of how important it is to give the
disabled sport more attention.

At the Salzburg meeting, the board also unanimously approved a proposal to
name the UEPS European Sportsman of the year award in the honour of Frank
Taylor who passed away last July at the age of 81. Frank was one of the
founders of UEPS and its first President in addition to being the
longest-serving President in AIPS history.

The UEPS bureau was scheduled to meet in London on May to follow up
activities and prepare the Porto Congress.

Finally May 14-16 I was invited to the Nordic Sports Journalist Congress in
Rovaniemi, Finland, to speak about UEPS activities. This Congress is held
every second year, rotating among the Nordic countries.
I like to end this report by thanking my colleagues on the board for all
the support and all the hard work they have put in and also a thank you to
the people at the AIPS office in Budapest. They are always ready to support
not only me but all of you.


The President has already reported on the December 13 AIPS/UEPS joint
bureau meeting in Budapest and the UEPS Committee meeting in Salzburg on
February 16, so there is no point in elaborating on these again.
I have also circulated the minutes of the meetings we had in Budapest and
Salzburg to the Associations to keep you informed of our activities.
Similarly, President Nilsson has already referred to the EOC Congress in
Reykjavic where I was also involved in discussions with Salzburg and
European Olympic Youth Festival officials.
Three of our German members sent correspondence to me on different matters
during the year. Ronald Pfaff had written on October 15 inquiring about
English journalists who could
take part in a symposium on regional sports journalists. I referred him to
SWA general secretary Trevor Bond and also forwarded the message to
President Nilsson, who contacted some Swedish journalists. Our German
committee member Hans-Joachim Zwingmann informed us that the seminar was a
success with 29 journalists participating.
There was another message from Willi Klein asking for the names of the UEPS

European Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year from 1999 to 2002. He was
faxed a copy of the list contained in our 25th anniversary magazine. It
took me a long time initially to compile the list from the archives for our
Jubilee book and it is a good to retain the data for updating and easy use.
I also received an e-mail from Gunter Pfeistlinger, president of the AIPS
handball commission pointing out that most of the presidents from the
specialist AIPS Commissions were European and it would be a good idea for
them to meet under the auspices of the UEPS.
In discussions between myself and President Nilsson, it was agreed that
funding would present a major obstacle.
Concerning the commissions in general, there are areas of confusion
regarding AIPS activities at European regional championships. I would
suggest that each specialist commission should have a UEPS representative
at European championships.
However, the value of commissions is a matter for debate. Ideally, the
input from journalists and photographers serving on media commissions,
should have some impact on the specific International Sports Federations or
organizations. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Too often these so-called
media commissions are merely window-dressing. Some times the commissions
are virtually inactive.
Thats why having AIPS or continental representatives sitting on these
commissions is not enough. Just because an organization has a media
commission offers no guarantee that it serves the needs of our members.
Our president has mentioned the accommodation problem facing the press at
the Athens Olympics - over-priced accommodation in poor locations. This is
not a new phenomena. If you remember our AIPS president went so far as to
tell our 1990 Congress that they should seek accommodation outside the
media village for the 2002 Sydney Olympics. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics,
the same hotel which was costing the media $180, was going for $99 to the
general public. In fact, the media have faced this same problem ever since
the curtain came down on the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which is why many of our
national associations now organize their own host-city visits to seek
cheaper accommodation.
But this scenario is not just confined to the Olympics. Many of us covering
sports events are well aware that we can get accommodation in designated
media hotels at a cheaper rate if we operate outside the organizers. The
days of special rates for media are long gone. People in the public domain
get a much better deal, governed by market forces and not necessity. And
for the general public, minimum stays are a rarity and not compulsory.
It is purely a matter of self-interest. The organizers seek a profit and
the media is seen as a legitimate target.
I think the AIPS and its continental constituents could this matter on
board as a service to our members. We are all aware how our publications
and TV and radio stations are being forced to cut back on staffing at
sports events because of increased costs -- and accommodation is the
usually the most expensive item on the budget.
Morley Myers