About the SJA

This is not a sports website.

It is a website about sports journalism, for sports journalists, and by sports journalists.

When the Sports Journalists’ Association was formed in a pub off Fleet Street in 1948, its handful of founders could not have envisaged how the business – our business – would change over the coming decades. And the SJA has endeavoured to adapt and grow to reflect those changes.

This has been especially important in recent years, when the rate of change in the media has been faster than ever before.

The scale of the changes to sport, and therefore sports journalism, was demonstrated by the transformational work going on in London’s East End in the build-up to the 2012 London Games.

The SJA’s forefathers had to contend with the “Ration Book Olympics” in 1948, with its make-do-and-mend stadiums and an Olympic Village in disused barrack huts.

In 2012, we worked alongside 10,000 busy colleagues from around the world in an Olympic Park built with a £9.3 billion budget. We had worked with LOCOG on the media facilities on offer, some of our members worked behind the scenes in the press offices, and as at every Games, one of our number served as media liaison for the British Olympic Association.

Star performer: Jessica Ennis receives the SJA's Sportswoman of the Year trophy from Andy Duncan, of sponsors The National Lottery, and Baroness Campbell, the out-going chair of UK Sport - the two organisations which did so much to put in place the funding that helped Britain's sports stars succeed in 2012
Star performer: Jessica Ennis receives the 2012 SJA’s Sportswoman of the Year trophy from Andy Duncan, of sponsors The National Lottery, and Baroness Campbell of UK Sport

As we move on through this Golden Decade of Sport, the SJA has been involved with the organisers of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the rugby World Cups (in both codes) and world championships in a variety of sport, liaising on a range of issues, from accreditation to facilities on offer to our members and colleagues.

The SJA website tries to reflect the changes in our business in its daily news coverage, while also supporting the organisation’s ever-increasing range of activities.

The SJA’s major awards ceremonies each year are the SJA British Sports Awards, first staged in 1949 and therefore the oldest sports awards in Britain, with the Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year selected by a vote of SJA members; and our SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, where we recognise excellence in our own profession. We are grateful to our sponsors of these awards events, The National Lottery and BT Sport, plus support from Ladbrokes, for helping us deliver what has become acknowledged as important dates in the diaries of the sports media, and British sportsmen and women each year.

The SJA also publishes a comprehensive Yearbook which includes profiles of all members, and which is distributed to everyone within our rapidly growing membership, plus major sports desks and the country’s leading PR agencies.

Rich awards: Michael Atherton accepts the 2009 Sports Writer of the Year prize while still at work covering an England cricket tour

Our other events include headline-making lunches with leading figures from sport, plus occasional Sporting Question Times, Masterclasses with leading sports journalists sharing their career tips, and outright social events at golf, cricket and horse racing.

We issue frequent email updates to our members covering the Association’s activities and the latest news in sports journalism.

We offer a range of other services for our members, including legal advice, money-off offers and negotiation over accreditation requirements at home and abroad, together with our internationally recognised membership card.

We also act as consultants to the organisers of major sporting events on media requirements.

Membership of the SJA embraces all branches of the business, but is still strictly restricted to British-based professional journalists. Students, PRs and others who are interested in SJA membership but perhaps do not quite fulfil all the requirements are invited to apply for associate membership.

Membership requirements, and application form, can also be found on this website.

This website is a key communication tool for members and the broader public. Early 2010, more than 1 million people visited sportsjournalists.co.uk in a single calendar month for the first time, and by 2016 we had acquired more than 50,000 followers on Twitter @SportSJA.

But like all websites, the SJA’s depends on news and feedback from its members and readers to create debate. Take a look around, and if sports journalism is your business or intended career – we also provide an extensive section of online careers and training advice – then you are sure to find something of use or interest.

 

The SJA is the largest member organisation of sports media professionals in the world. Join us: Click here for more details