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  • Young reporters announced for London 2012


    Three young reporters will be coming to London to be an integral part of the London 2012 team following the successful launch of the Young Reporters Programme by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which ran throughout the recent Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

    Selected by the IOC, the three outstanding candidates are Alan Harris from Barbados, May Chen from Singapore and Sonali Prasad from India. Alan and May will both be joining the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) for a six-week internship, working as part of the LOCOG press operations team for London 2012 across print, broadcast, digital and photographic functions being part of what is the world’s biggest media operation. Sonali from Delhi will also be coming to London and will undertake a six-week internship at London 2012 host national news agency, the Press Association, where she will be part of the editorial team reporting on the Games.

    The Young Reporters programme gave 29 young journalists, broadcasters and photographers aged between 18 and 24, the opportunity to gain experience as Games-time reporters. The young journalists were selected from across the five continents on the basis of their performance and promise and received on-the-job experience as well as multi-media training.

    London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe, who was interviewed by the Young Reporters whilst attending the Youth Olympic Games, commented: “It is with great pleasure that we invite Alan and May to join our team in 2012. These reporters have already made a real impression in Singapore and I hope this opportunity gives them a springboard to outstanding careers in the field of reporting and photography.”

    Anthony Edgar, IOC Media Operations and Head of the Young Reporters Programme, commented: “We are thrilled that both LOCOG and the Press Association have chosen to support our Young Reporter education scheme and look forward to seeing all three of these outstanding candidates in London in two years’ time. Working alongside the LOCOG press operations team and the Press Association’s world class reporters will allow all three to hone their skills in a unique environment.”

    Tony Watson, Managing Director of Press Association, commented: “As host national news agency for London 2012, the Press Association is ideally placed to offer a unique opportunity to the selected young reporter. London 2012 promises to be an exceptionally exciting time for the UK, and our editorial team will be right at the heart of the action, delivering first-class editorial as it happens. By joining us, Sonali will not only learn the Press Association’s fast, fair and accurate ethos, but she will gain a remarkable insight into this extraordinary event.”

    – Ends –

    For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog or follow us on Twitter

    For further information about the Press Association please contact Nadine Utchigadoo, Communications Executive +44 (0)20 7963 7583

    Notes to editors:

    About the candidates:

    Alan Harris, a 23 year old from Barbados, finds sports journalism as a “match made in heaven” for him. He pursued sociology at the University of the West Indies and has a diploma in communication studies from the International School of Broadcasting based in Barbados. His girlfriend’s mother was reading the Barbados Advocate and pointed out a vacancy at the sports desk for a journalist. He applied and quickly fell in love with his new career, especially as he was now covering his beloved cricket at the ICC World Cup for both print and broadcast.

    “I enjoy sports. Its two years since I have been working as a sports journalist but I have never looked back ever since,” he says.

    Speaking of going to London in 2012 he described it as an incredible opportunity: “For any sports writer, covering the Olympics will be the pinnacle of his career. I just want to record human endeavour on and off the field, and what better place than the Olympic Games.

    “I came here to learn some journalism tools, but I got so much more,” Alan said of his experience at the Young Reporters Programme.

    Tracey Holmes, experienced broadcaster and one of the IOC Young Reporters trainers said: “Alan has that rare mix of an exceptional eye for a story, an ability to tell it uniquely and the power to evoke empathy even from a hardened audience. On top of that he's got the 'x factor' which can neither be taught nor learned. In the world of journalism he will go as far as his desire will take him.”

    May Chen, 23 year-old from Singapore graduated from Nanyang Technology University in Singapore earlier this year with a Bachelor in Communication Studies, majoring in journalism. She has interned on the sports desk of The Straits Times, Singapore’s flagship English newspaper and has covered the 2009 Asian Youth Games as part of the internship. After graduating from university, May says she was standing at a crossroads and the experience at the IOC Young Reporters Program inspired and affirmed a decision to pursue sports journalism as a career.

    She loves watching tennis and football and one of the most memorable moments of the Olympic movement was when Singapore won the Olympic silver in Beijing 2008 in the women’s table tennis team event. She counts music and photography among her interests.

    “I feel completely shell-shocked. I wasn’t expecting it and it is a huge honour. I look forward to learning about and experiencing the Olympics in London,” she said upon the announcement that she had been selected as one of two Young Reporters who will get the opportunity to work for the London 2012 Organising Committee reporting at the London 2012 Olympic Games. “I hope I do Singaporeans proud.”

    Lucia Montanarella, press chief of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and one of the IOC Young Reporters trainers said: “May has fully earned this award by showing extraordinary reporting skills. She has a special sense for news and the invaluable ability of capturing the key elements of a news story with simplicity and creativity. Her writing is meaningful and her professionalism approaching this program has been outstanding”.

    Sonali Prasad, a 19-year-old from Delhi, India, grew up reading and watching the reports of Indian female journalist Barkha Dutt. It was Dutt's reports that inspired Sonali to pursue a career in journalism. Sonali moved to Singapore in 2008 to study communications and computer sciences at Singapore's Nanyang Technology University. At the same time she is also pursuing a Law degree. She began writing for the university's paper and within the span of one year she was made the editor-in-chief. Sonali says her love of sports, her favourites being tennis and squash, pushed her towards sports journalism. In May, the university board recognized Sonali's work and suggested she apply for the Young Reporter Program.

    “London is something that I hadn't even dreamt of,” Sonali said when she was awarded the internship with the Press Association upon completion of the IOC’s Young Reporters Programme. “To work with the host news agency for the London Olympic Games is an amazing opportunity. I hope to learn the tricks of the trade.”

    “Sonali has captivated all of us with her colourful, bubbling and joyful reporting,” said Lucia Montanarella, press chief for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and one of the IOC’s Young Reporters trainers. “Either in front of a camera, doing radio or writing news reports she perfectly played the role of a modern multi-skilled reporter. Her dedication and interest in learning have clearly put her at the top of the programme.”

    About LOCOG:

    As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now nineteen domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, GSK, Gymnova, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Technogym, Ticketmaster and Trident.

    There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s.

    The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.

    About the Press Association

    The Press Association is the national news agency for the UK and Ireland, providing a continuous feed of text, pictures, video and data into newsrooms around the country.

    At the heart of the media industry, the Press Association supplies services to every national and regional daily newspaper, broadcasters, online publishers and a wide range of commercial organisations.

    Founded in 1868, the Press Association has an unrivalled reputation for providing fast, fair and accurate information.

    The Press Association is part of PA Group Limited, a private company with 27 shareholders, most of whom are national and regional newspaper publishers. The biggest shareholders are Associated Newspaper Holdings Limited, News International plc, Trinity Mirror plc and United Business Media plc.

    As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors.

    These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation.