Local media outlet Mihaaru officially launched the 2019 iteration of 'Mihaaru Awards', the most prestigious sports awards in Maldives, and signed on its partners and sponsors on Sunday.
The signing ceremony between Mihaaru Awards, and its partners and sponsors were held at Champa Central Hotel, with Editor Moosa Latheef representing the daily newspaper.
The main sponsors of the awards, telecommunications giant Ooredoo Maldives and Allied Insurance were represented respectively by Director of Brands and Sales Hussain Niyaz and Deputy Marketing Manager Aishath Sudha.
The other partners and sponsors of the Mihaaru Awards 2019 include:
Think Associates - advertising sponsor, which designed the trophy and branding for this year's awards;
VTV - media partner, which broadcast the Mihaaru Awards 2017 and 2018;
Print Lab Creative, The Kitchen, Metal Science, Sonee Sports and BHM Trader - associate sponsors.
"It's not possible to organise such a major awards event without the support of sponsors," said an official of Mihaaru at the ceremony.
"We thank our sponsors in the name of the Maldives' sports family".
Introduced in 2017, Mihaaru Awards recognise not only players but also coaches and referees from team sports such as football and volleyball, as well as individual sports such as athletics, table tennis, swimming, and badminton. Mihaaru Awards is the first such sports award platform in Maldives to have introduced individual sports categories.
A total of 24 awards are to be conferred, including the top three players, most promising player and the Golden Boot in Football. The top three players and most promising players will be recognised in both men's and women's categories in Volleyball, as well as the top three in the combined categories of Badminton, Athletics, Table Tennis and Swimming.
In addition to the regular awards, special recognition accolades will be presented to athletes who delivered outstanding performances in international competitions, including those that set international records.
The highlight of the ceremony, the "Zahir Naseer Award" in remembrance of former Olympic Committee President Mohamed Zahir Naseer, will be conferred on the elite few deserving of a Lifetime Achievement recognition in the field of sports.
Mihaaru Awards will further hold a number of events under its corporate social responsibility (CSR), such as the 'Kids Fiesta', a fun evening with children and sports stars. The fiesta is held in a different island each year, where the island's schools, youth associations and sports associations receive various aid via the awards' sponsors.
The awards also introduced the 'Champions Talk' under its CSR last year, where notable Maldivian athletes share their experiences to inspire and motivate younger generations.