Bill Colwill, Treasurer of the SJA for 12 years, has been named as the 2006 winner of the Doug Gardner Award for his outstanding contribution to the Association and sports journalism. Colwill, the long-time hockey correspondent for The Independent newspaper, is seen here receiving a commemorative pen and certificate from Barry Newcombe (left), chairman of the SJA.
Colwill confirmed his retirement at the Association’s annual meeting, staged at the headquarters of UK Sport last week. He will continue his tireless work on behalf of the SJA by looking after membership matters through until 2008, while Neil Wilson, the experienced athletics and Olympic sports correspondent at the Daily Mail, was elected as SJA Treasurer.
As further tribute to Colwill, the Association yesterday staged a special invitation lunch at Wimbledon Hockey Club, at which Bill, his wife, Jean, and son Peter, were guests of honour. “It was great occasion much appreciated by the Colwills,” Bill said. Attended by nearly 30 friends and SJA members, there Bill was presented with a commemorative Kevin Macey cartoon, by now the traditional SJA gift at such occasions.
Colwill had been unable to attend the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards in March, and so the presentation was held over to the Association’s next major event. The Doug Gardner Award was introduced in the memory of our late secretary. It goes to a member of the SJA, nominated by the officers of the Association, who has made an outstanding contribution to sports journalism.
Past winners include Tom Clarke, Ian Wooldridge, Monte Fresco MBE and John Bromley OBE.
Making the presentation at the annual meeting, Newcombe said: “This award is very well deserved – 12 years of hard work in what is probably the job that no one wants is truly service above and beyond the call of duty.”
By unanimous vote of the meeting, Colwill was also made an Honorary Member of the Association, proposer Steven Downes saying, “This will at least ensure that there is one member of the Association who Bill will no longer have to chase for their subs.”
As well as Neil Wilson, also elected on to the SJA committee for the first time was Jim Munro, the deputy sports editor at The Sun Online, taking the place of Craig Lord, who stood down because he has moved to live in Germany. All other officers and committee members were re-elected.
Other business at the AGM was conducted in a straightforward manner, the one significant item on the agenda being the increase in the Association’s annual subscription. The committee’s proposal to raise subs to £30 and £20 (both including VAT) from January 1, 2008, was passed unanimously. Here, too, Colwill had something of an influence: SJA subs had remained unchanged at £23.50 and £11.75 for the full 12 years of his time as Treasurer.