Basketball star Yao Ming joins campaign to honour the world’s best storytellers in Sport Media

Dubai, August 5, 2015: One of the world’s biggest sporting icons today has announced his commitment to the judging panel for a new global sport awards event to be held in Abu Dhabi.

Yao Ming, China’s most famous sporting figure for his exploits in the NBA and who remains an inspiration for many up and coming athletes confirmed that he will be part of the Sport Media Pearl Awards – a competition to showcase the very best in sport journalism.

Ming, a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics, was a leading player for The Houston Rockets, will be part of an elite judging panel looking at entries from sport journalists from all over the world who report on everything from amateur to professional sporting events.

The Sport Media Pearl Awards, managed by AIPS (International Sports Press Association) and hosted by Abu Dhabi Media, are the first international awards dedicated to the sport media industry. They are designed to put the spotlight on sport reporting and help foster a new generation of talent.

H.E. Mohamed Ebraheem Al Mahmood, Chairman and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Media, said: “As a cultural gateway between East and West where global sporting influences converge, Abu Dhabi is ideally placed to host this groundbreaking international award.”

Submissions are now open in each of the six categories – Writing, Photographic, Audio, Video, Journalistic, Weblog and Sport for a Better World – and journalists from all over the world are being asked to submit their entries.

Furthermore, there are three special categories, which are not open for submission but will be awarded by the judging panel: A Life in Sport, Investigative Reporting and Best App.

Speaking ahead of the event in December, Yao Ming said: “At their very best, sport journalists deliver the passion and emotion involved in sport in a way that truly moves you.

“From writers telling the story where a competitor has beaten all the odds to achieve victory to the photographer who has perfectly captured an incredible sporting moment, these awards are there to highlight just how great they are.

“From a personal point of view I will never forget some of the reporting that went into chronicling my journey to the NBA and that is another big reason why I am so proud to be involved in the Sport Media Pearl Awards.”

A road show to promote the awards at key global sporting events including the Diamond League Athletics Championship in Qatar, the UEFA Champions League Final in Germany and the European Games in Azerbaijan got underway earlier this year.

Abu Dhabi will host the ceremony in December along with a special conference in the morning of the awards. The winners in each category will receive a trophy and $10,000.

For details of the awards and how to register, go to

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