'I grew so much in my faith'

Passion for Sport is looking back over 25 years of reporting from major sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Fifa World Cup™, All Africa Games, the Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships to name just a few.

The Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 was the first major sporting event when a team of Christians worked together to produce radio programmes about sport with a Christian perspective. Passion for Sport grew out of this with its mission to use media to introduce sports fans to Jesus.

French language programme producer, Vivian Dinan (below left) looks back on his time in the media team at various events with joy and gratitude, saying: 

“Those who led the teams at these different events contributed a lot towards me being able to cherish those priceless moments . . . Their inspired leadership, their human relations approach and their professionalism made things easier, particularly when I had to go to bed very late because I had to upload reports and woke up early to attend events. I also appreciated the daily morning briefings, where we first listened to what God had to say to us through the sharing of the word by one of the team members and then take note of the tasks for the day.”

Taurai Manonge, a video cameraman who joined the team for a week during the London 2012 Olympics made a similar comment: 

“Working with other believers, sharing the faith and encouraging each other in the Lord, while enjoying one of the greatest sporting spectacles was indeed a prayer answered. I grew so much in my faith during that week and seeing the commitment and dedication of the other members who chose to serve God using their profession was a great testimony to me.”

Members of the media team have opportunities to interview top sportsmen and women, officials and fans but also the dignitaries attending the events. Vivian recalls such opportunities:

“I had the privilege at the London Olympics to interview Mr Francois Hollande, the French President. At the Beijing Olympics, I interviewed the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth. In Maputo, Mozambique I had the privilege to interview the Minister of Sport of Congo Brazzaville, Mr Léon-Alfred Opimbat. I also met and interviewed the former President of the IAAF, Mr Lamine Diack.”

As well as getting on with the job of reporting from the event and producing radio programmes, the times together as a team are special, and it seems Vivian has some memorable episodes:

Solomon Ashoms (left) and Vivian Dinan (right).

Solomon Ashoms (left) and Vivian Dinan (right).

“My time . . . allowed me also to work alongside some wonderful team mates. One of them is dear to my heart – Solomon Ashoms. He has always been my room-mate and also my driver! He drove me from Johannesburg, South Africa to Maputo, Mozambique, for the All Africa Games in 2012. A trip of four hours but which took us more than eight hours. My dear driver lost directions! I must admit the return trip was much better.

“Another team mate dear to me is Pedro Arias, our Spanish language reporter. Each time we were on the team, we had fun exploring together what we think was the best place to eat. In Beijing I guess we missed our target. I think we ate dog meat in one place!”

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