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Afghanistan Sport Pride Awards ceremony in Kabul inspires the nation

President of the Afghanistan Sport Journalists Federation Mr. Sayer Zaland speaks at the opening of the Afghanistan Sport Pride Awards ceremony (Photo: ASJF)
by Khoshhal Taib, Deputy of ASJF

KABUL, December 20, 2016 - The Afghanistan Sports Journalists Federation (ASJF) on Sunday declared the winners of the Afghanistan Sport Pride Awards. The awards included those for Best Athletes, Sports Organization of the year, Cricket Player of the year, Football Player of the Year, Sport Personality of the Year, Sport Journalist of the Year, Radio Sport Journalist of the Year, TV Sport Journalist of the Year, Commentator of the Year, Online Media Sport Journalist of the Year, Social Media Sports Analyst of the Year, Changing Lives through Sport and Physical Activity, Coach of the Year, Community Club of the Year, Supporting Company of the Year, Young Sports Reporter of the Year, Sports Critics of the Year, Encouraging Sports of the Year and Sports Website of the Year.

President of the Afghanistan Sport Journalists Federation Mr. Sayer Zaland welcomed journalists and top athletes from all over the country in the central Kabul Province and capital of Afghanistan, where 123 members of the ASJF and nine members of EC Committee met for the second time in 2016 after the first ever historic Afghanistan Sports Journalists Congress in Kabul in April, ahead of the ceremony.

A speaker of the Afghanistan Senate, a member of Parliament, the new elected chairman of ACB, the NOC and top AFF officials and representatives attended the event along with more than 500 journalists, athletes, media representatives, sports fans, winners of the Afghanistan Sport Pride Awards and activist of the civil society.

ASJF President Sayer Zaland said during the opening of the first ever ceremony of Sports Awards in Afghanistan that some sports departments were victims of politics and ‘two-faced policies.’ He warned that if irregularities at sports were not addressed, it would eclipse the gains achieved so far.

Zaland explained that the Sport Pride Awards is an annual awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the nation’s clubs, coaches, schools, sports organizations, workplaces, athletes, sports journalists who performed well during the previous year.

He added further that ASJF’s aim is to lay the ground for long-term improvement. “[ASJF] is designed to build capacities among Afghan journalists on a grassroots’ level and want to address the most pressing issues on local level which are currently hardly covered by the Afghan media during the FIFA World Cup, Rio Olympic Games and many other sport tournaments,” he said.

Afghanistan Senate chairman Mr. Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, who attended the event, appreciated the federation’s efforts at promoting sports. The Meshrano Jirga chairman promised the parliament, particularly the upper house, would try to resolve problems concerning sports and would support players.

Parliament member Mr. Abdulqadir Zazi, Atif Mashal, the new Chairman of ACB, M. Yousaf karger, Deputy of AFF congratulates ASJF for the big achievement and confirmed the everyone is with them.

The winners of Afghanistan Sport Pride Awards were picked based on votes they received online as part of the competition. At a ceremony held in this regard in Kabul, ASJF President Sayer Zaland said the Afghan players had brought many laurels home and the aim of their federation is to encourage them and demand facilities for them. The awards were also given to ‘best coach of the year’, best player of the year, best football reporter, sports photographer, best TV anchor, radio commentator and best disable player of the year and several others

The former CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Mr. Hamid Shinwari was awarded as the best Sports Personality of the Year, while the Football Federation of Afghanistan got the Award for the best Sports Organization.

The young and emerging player Rashid Khan Arman got the Cricket Player of the Year Award who got his position in Afghanistan cricket national in a very short time.

Ismlamudin Amiri, the former captain of the national football team who was absent from the team for the past two years before making a return this year was awarded as the Best Football Players of the Year with a high number of votes.

VOA Pasto anchor and sports journalists Matiullah Abid got the sports Journalists Award title while young journalist Sebghatullah Atif, from the distant Khost province got the Radio Sports Journalist of the Year Award.

For the best TV Presenter of the Year, there was a tough competition among the nation’s top anchors, but it was finally Amanullah Qaisari who won the Award.

ASJF member Feroz Mashof got the TV Sport Journalist of the Year Award and Kamia Yousufi, the only female member of Afghanistan at the Rio 2016 Olympics won the Female Sports Athlete of the Year title.

Manizha Amini won the Female Sports Reporter of the year award who is working for Youth Radio and head of Afghanistan Badminton Federation Mastora Arezo won the female sports Personality of the Year Award.

For the Coach of the Year there were some top coaches like Peter Sigret, the former coach of football national team, lalchand Rajpot Afghanistan cricket team current coach but the U19 cricket national team coach won the prize for the best coach of 2016.

Pajhwok Afghan News was chosen for the best website for sports news

The winners and participants said the event was a useful initiative that could encourage those in the field of sports to strive for more.

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