A Milton Keynes sports journalist will be spending Easter in Moscow after being shortlisted for an award for his coverage of a prospective Olympic martial art.

Daniel Etchells, 27, is a reporter with Bletchley based Olympic, Commonwealth and Paralympic Games news website insidethegames.biz, and has built up a reputation for his quality and in-depth coverage of SAMBO.

SAMBO is an acronym for SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya which means “self-defence without weapons”. SAMBO is relatively modern. It was developed in the early 1920s by the Soviet Red Army to improve their hand-to-hand combat abilities. It intended to be a merger of the most effective techniques of other martial arts. It is very robust and not for the faint-hearted.

Daniel said: “This is the first award I have been nominated for in journalism and the thought of spending Easter in Moscow is a really exciting prospect.

“Working for insidethegames.biz gives me a fabulous opportunity to travel and to write about sports of all kinds, including SAMBO.”

Manchester United fan Daniel, has covered SAMBO events in Zagreb, Baku, Morocco and even in his home city when Daniel reported from the 2nd edition of The President’s Cup, which is an International SAMBO Tournament, which took place in Manchester last September.

Sarah Bowron, managing director at Milton Keynes-based insidethegames.biz, said: “Since joining our talented team in September 2014, Daniel has more than proved his skill and dedication. 

“His insightful breaking news stories and in-depth blogs contribute in no small measure in helping to make insidethegames.biz the global leader in providing news from the worlds of Olympic, Commonwealth and Paralympic Games.

“Many congratulations to Daniel on being shortlisted for this award; we are sure it will be the first of many in his career.”

Daniel graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a BA honours degree in Media and Sports Journalism in 2010. 

Before joining insidethegames.biz, Daniel covered football for various national newspapers through the Wardle Whittell Agency and undertook placements writing for the official website of his beloved Manchester United, the Manchester Evening News and BBC Sport.

Daniel is an NCTJ-qualified reporter having studied at News Associates in Manchester between September 2010 and February 2011.