Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: The build-up to the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in 2017 began on Thursday with the opening of the first Turkmenistan International Sports Media Forum in Ashgabat. Forty members of the international sports media from 23 different countries are attending the forum to hear a wide range of high-profile speakers and view the city’s impressive new sports facilities.
Speakers include Gianni Merlo, President of AIPS, and Michael Cole, who was the London 2012 Marketing and Communications Director for BT Global Services.
The international media are joined by 80 foreign correspondents and local media for the forum’s discussions, which will focus on the best practices in media operations ahead of Turkmenistan hosting their first ever major international sporting event, the 5th AIMAG in 2017.
The first day of the forum began with a welcome address by the Chairman of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Sport, Batyr Orazov. “It is a great honour for Turkmenistan to be hosting so many media from the sports world," he said.
"We look forward to sharing the best practices with them and receiving the benefit of their experience ahead of hosting our first major international sporting event, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, in 2017.”
Day Two of the forum will see the delegates touring Turkmenistan’s rapidly developing state-of-the-art Olympic Complex, which includes two new stadiums, a velodrome, training centres and a luxury media hotel.
Gianni Merlo, President of AIPS – which is partnering the forum – also delivered a keynote address. “AIPS is delighted to be involved in the inaugural Turkmenistan International Sports Media Forum 2013," he said.
"AIPS is well placed to help emerging nations use sport as a way of communicating internationally. We are looking forward to our members sharing their views and best practices with the Turkmen authorities. These are exciting times for sport in Turkmenistan.”
Further presentations will be delivered by:
Acting Communications Director of the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee, Masa Takaya Director of Pearce International, Jayne Pearce Editorial Director of SportBusiness, Kevin Roberts Founder and Editor of insidethegames.biz, Duncan Mackay Special Advisor at Arup Major Events Consulting, Erik G. Andersen Advisor of the Sport Department at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Patrick Furlong Founder and Chairman of JTA, Jon Tibbs.
A cultural visit to the nearby ancient city of Nisa, traditional performances and a tour of Ashgabat city are also included in the programme. Updates and photographs from the event will be available on the event website: www.tismf.com.