A very warm welcome to the website of the Sports Journalists’ Association
The Sports Journalists’ Association of Great Britain – the SJA – is the world’s largest national organisation for professional sports journalists.
Our members include writers and photographers, editors, cartoonists or broadcasters, whether they work for national or regional newspapers, specialist magazines, in print or online, on television or on radio.
From 2005 to 2015, our President was the writer and broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson. He was succeeded in April 2015 by Patrick Collins, the former chief sportswriter of the Mail on Sunday and one the most respected and admired figures in the press box.
In 2014, David Walker, the sports editor of the Daily Mirror, became our chairman.
Our SJA committee comprises a selection of national newspaper sports editors, tabloid and broadsheet, past and present, top sports photographers, and well-known correspondents in print, broadcasting and online.
We are proud to have The National Lottery and BT Sport as the lead sponsors of our two highlight events of each year, the SJA British Sports Awards, staged each December, and the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, which are held in the spring.
Ladbrokes and Laureus are also generous supporters of our events.
We enjoy strong partnerships with a range of public agencies, sports federations and some of the biggest corporations in the world, including the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association; UK Sport and Sport England; various specialist sports writer organisations, such as the Cricket Writers’ Club, Football Writers’ Association, the Rugby Union Writers and the British Athletics Writers’s Association; and internationally, we have had productive dealings with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Sport Accord, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and NFL Europe.
We also work closely with other sports governing bodies, advising on media management matters and helping to promote their events and activities to our members, in the hope of generating improved press coverage.
Our SJA British Sports Awards has a history dating back to 1949, and the December lunch regularly attracts some of the biggest names in British sport.
Past winners of these awards, generously sponsored since 2012 by The National Lottery, have included F1 world champion Lewis Hamlton, Olympic gold medal heptathlete Jessica Ennis, Wimbledon winner Andy Murray, cycling giant Chris Hoy, swimming great Rebecca Adlington, 20-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and record breaking runner Paula Radcliffe.
In December 2014, Open golf champion Rory McIlroy was named as the 65th winner of the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year title, with distance runner Jo Pavey winning that year’s Sportswoman award and the World Cup-winning England women’s rugby squad being acclaimed as the SJA’s Team of the Year.
From January 1 each year, sports desks and their staff are busy in their spare time, pulling together their portfolios, picking their best work of the previous 12 months, and compiling their entries for what others have called “The Oscars of Sports Media”. Our SJA British Sports Journalism Awards dinner, sponsored by BT Sport, is an important occasion to support and promote our own profession, recognising excellence in pictures, words, written and spoken, in print and online, on television and on radio.
We endeavour to make it a glittering event where among our guests are prominent figures from sport, the media and politics, with colleagues from sports broadcasting, the sports desks of the national newspapers and many of the world’s leading sports photographers also attending.
For reports on past British Sports Journalism Awards, click here, where you will also find further links to lists of our past winners and photo galleries of some of the best of British sports photography.
In 2012, the SJA co-hosted a special pre-Olympics reception in the City of London for our colleagues attending the Games from around the world attended by more than 300 accredited media, and with BT Sport we are striving to make our international media receptions features of other major championships staged in Britain, with similar events staged in Glasgow before the 2014 Commonwealth Games and at Twickenham ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Our other activities include hosting special lunches with leading figures from the world of sport as our special, headline-making guests; Sporting Question Time events, with expert panels dealing with the issues of the day; and the SJA Yearbook and directory, circulated to our members and the sports desks of national newspapers, news agencies and broadcasters as well as major PR firms.
Elsewhere on this website, you can also find details of how to join the SJA, to enjoy the benefits of membership, which include significant cash discounts on tickets for our events, the annual SJA Yearbook, and a range of other services.