Ciaran O’Mahony among AIPS’ top sportswriters in the world

Jaded Newsman staff

Ciaran O’Mahony’s sports reporting for The Jaded Newsman has earned him a place on the International Sports Press Association’s (AIPS) prestigious list of the best sportswriters in the world.

O’Mahony was shortlisted in two AIPS Sports Media Awards 2021 categories (Best Columnists and Best Writers Under 30) for his investigative projects on pre-Olympic doping tests during Covid lockdowns and the rise of Rwanda’s first female football coach.

“I’m blown away,” said O’Mahony, The Jaded Newsman’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.

“This is a huge honour and I’m so grateful to the AIPS for all of the work they’ve put into running a global competition and providing a platform to acknowledge all of the hard work that sports journalists do around the world.”

“Sport has always been my greatest passion in work and in life. Telling the stories of so many important figures in the industry and then having that work recognised internationally, means so much to me.”

The AIPS Awards are one of the highest international accolades in sports media, honouring the world’s best sports storytellers across video, audio, photography and writing.

Over 1730 journalists from 133 countries entered the 2021 edition of the awards, which were judged by an esteemed panel of 40 judges from 35 countries.

O’Mahony’s column on doping revealed exclusive WADA statistics that showed enormous dips in athlete drug testing during emergency lockdowns. The Presidents and CEOs of international doping bodies, and Olympians who had been denied medals by dopers in the past, were interviewed for further insights on the issue.

He was named amongst the top 50 sports columnists in the world for this deep-dive.

“It was a very competitive field and I’ve followed many of the writers on that list for a long time. I really admire their work,” O’Mahony said.

“It’s a great feeling to be listed alongside them.”

O’Mahony’s special feature on Grace Nyinawumuntu, the first Rwandan woman to become a professional football coach, was also highly regarded by the international panel of judges.

Nyinawumuntu was orphaned by Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and this trauma sent her into deep despair. But a football for women’s rights initiative created by IOC member, Felicite Rwemarika, offered her a pathway out of isolation and into Rwandan sports history.

O’Mahony was ranked in the world’s top 20 sportswriters under 30 for this story and he believes it sends a powerful message about the impact sport can have on society.

“The feature on Grace Nyinawumuntu was part of a special collaboration with the very talented Bianca Roberts. I have to say a huge thanks to Bianca because she was a huge part of bringing that piece to fruition.

“We produced a series of articles and a podcast on the impact of Felicite Rwemarika’s AKWOS (Association of Kigali Women in Sports) football program on women’s rights in Rwanda.

“Ms Rwemarika changed so many lives and led an important movement for social change in her country. Ms Nyinawumuntu was one of the most inspiring participants in that program, rising above unimaginable grief and loss to become the country’s first female professional referee and coach.”

The AIPS rankings have capped off a fantastic debut year for The Jaded Newsman, which was also recognised for its reporting on homelessness at the Victorian Homelessness Media Awards in November 2021.

The independent publication continues to grow in popularity and an increasing pool of experts are recognising the quality of the coverage it is providing readers on important social and sporting issues.

“I’m delighted as both a writer and an editor,” O’Mahony said.

“Starting a new publication with modest resources is a challenging and daunting task. There is so much more involved than writing engaging feature articles. It has been a huge learning curve as far as website design, promotional and social media campaigns are concerned. But I think we’re starting to reap the rewards.”

“Achieving so much in the first year is really humbling and it’s made me hungry to push The Jaded Newsman to even greater heights.”

“Our readers are the real winners because they have access to a publication that is not only turning heads, but also free from any financial or political bias. That’s very rare in this day and age.

“We’re starting to mix it with the world’s best and I don’t think we look out of place. We’re just getting started and I hope readers will continue to join us on the journey.”

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