Pupkewitz Foundation implements restrictions on journalists at Grand Prix

WINDHOEK: Sports journalists were on Saturday restricted in their coverage of track and field events at the second Grand Prix of the year hosted at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek by Athletics Namibia (AN). The restrictions were a result of new rules implemented by the Pupkewitz Foundation, which recently became a sponsor for the event. Photographers and journalists who wanted to cover the event were directed to do so from the stands or a mixed zone gazebo which was set up at the stadium, meaning they could not take close-up action photos of athletes. The only individuals who were allowed to be on the field of play were athletes, AN officials, and the Pupkewitz_TV streaming service employees. In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Vernon Hugo from the Pupkewitz Foundation stated that the issue of journalists being restricted from taking photographs on and off the pitch will be resolved before the third AN Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place in Swakopmund. 'During our live streaming, we decid ed to minimise movement on the field. As a result, we stopped reporters from being present on the field of play. However, we created a mixed zone where they could conduct interviews with athletes,' he said. Responding to queries about which rulebook was used to prevent photographers from being on the pitch side as this is allowed during major competitions, Hugo stated that they will consult with AN to improve their approach for future events. Meanwhile, Berthold Karumendu, the Erongo regional sports officer based in Omaruru and a member of the AN Executive Committee, told Nampa on Sunday that they had intended to accredit journalists for the event. However, due to time constraints, they were unable to do so. 'The media was supposed to get accredited for the event, but due to short notice, that was not possible. Athletics Namibia and our sponsors will look at ways to improve these engagements going forward. The media is very important in disseminating our information,' he said. Source: The Namibia Press A gency