Sports journos awards set to return in style

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BY SPORTS REPORTER
Following a two year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the prestigious Sports Journalists Association (SPOJA) awards makes a return with a banquet scheduled for tomorrow in Harare. The occasion will reward and honour outstanding sports journalists who have excelled in the past two years.

The gala will be held on the eve of the World Sports Journalists Day, which is observed globally on July 2nd every year and aim to acknowledge the work of sports journalists and to encourage them to do better at their work A new category, the SPOJA Journalist of the Year award, has been introduced while three veteran sports journalists will be inducted in the inaugural SPOJA Hall of Fame. There is also an Honorary Award where one outstanding veteran journalist will be honoured. Organisers of the event announced that there will be nine categories this year, and winners are decided by votes from a panel of sports editors from all the major media houses in the country.

Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Kindness Paradza, is expected to officiate as Guest of Honour.

“Outstanding journalists will be rewarded for the work done between 1 January 2020 and 30 November 2021,” announced SPOJA secretary-general Francis Nyamutsamba yesterday. “The adjudicators received an overwhelming response despite the Covid-19 pandemic which badly affected the sports industry in the last two years. SPOJA will this year introduce an award for overall winner — the SPOJA Sports Journalist of the Year – judged the best entry from all the categories combined. This year, only the Print Sports Journalist of the year and the Electronic Sports Media Journalist of the year categories have runner-ups.”

Nyamutsamba added: “There are also exciting categories for the Rookie of the Year and Young Journalist of the Year (Under 25 years) to recognize the work of the young and upcoming professionals in the industry. To celebrate some of the most influential voices and leadership in the industry, at least three seasoned professionals are set to be inducted to the inaugural SPOJA Hall of Fame. We aim to make this an on-going exercise so that professionals that have impacted positively on the local sports journalism fraternity are also recognised.”

“The organisers also took into consideration the need to split photography and videography categories, following an outcry in the previous editions. And, for the first time this year, there will be separate categories for photography and videography. As SPOJA, we are grateful to all our sponsors and other key stakeholders who have made this event possible in the last five years.”

Some of the sponsors that have partnered SPOJA for the awards this year are Better Brands Jewellery, 4May, Romach Investments, Footballers Union of Zimbabwe, Hotplate Grill and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

SPOJA Awards categories

  • SPOJA Journalist of the Year (Overall winner)
  • Print Journalist of the year
  • Electronic Media Journalist of the year
  • Multimedia Journalist of the year
  • Online Journalist of the year
  • Photographer of the year
  • Videographer of the year
  • Rookie Journalist of the year
  • Young Journalist of the year
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