Final week for you to cast your Sports Awards votes

SJA members have until this Friday, October 30, to register their votes for the 61st annual SJA British Sports Awards.

2009 has been an outstanding year for British sporting achievement, with a multitude of world-beaters and champions in contention for your support as Team of the Year, Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year. The awards will be announced at a prestigious lunch staged at The Brewery in London on December 9.

The SJA’s Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year are selected by the SJA membership – the country’s leading sports writers, editors, broadcasters and photographers, making the accolade much cherished by competitors as being judged by people who really know their sport.

First staged in 1949, last December’s awards were a gala diamond anniversary event attended by sporting stars from the previous 60 years, with guest of honour HRH The Princess Royal, herself a past winner of the Sportswoman of the Year award.

This year, the SJA has reduced its ticket prices for members wanting to attend the awards lunch to just £80. Tickets for non-members are £120.

Recent previous winners include multiple Olympic gold medal-winners Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington in 2008, F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, cycling world beater Victoria Pendleton, undefeated boxing world champion Joe Calzaghe, marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe, Ashes-winning cricketer Andrew Flintoff and top equestrian Zara Phillips. The SJA’s lunch organisers are confident of another tremendous turn-out of leading sports figures at the longest running British sports awards.

The 2009 choices for the titles comes from the highest achievers and world-beaters.

In the team category, Brawn F1 is up against England’s Ashes-winning men’s cricketers and World Cup-winning women’s cricketers, plus world bobsleigh champions Minichiello and Cooke. Click here to read about the other leading contenders for the team award.

Gymnastics world champion Beth Tweddle has joined Britain’s other winning women in 2009 that also includes world champion swimmers Keri-Anne Payne and Gemma Spofforth, three-time Ironman triathlon world champ Chrissie Wellington, Tour de France winner Emma Pooley and heptathlon world No1 Jessica Ennis.

And F1 world champion Jenson Button is in a race for votes alongside triathlete, Alistair Brownlee, teenaged diver Tom Daley and triple jumper Phillips Idowu, world champs all, plus Ashes-winning skipper Andrew Strauss.

Voting ballot forms were sent to all SJA members earlier this month. Each member is allowed to vote only once. You can vote online, a process which takes just a few minutes.

To cast your vote online, click here.

â–¡ UK Sport is the longest standing lead sponsor of the Sports Journalists’ Association, with a partnership that goes back more than a decade. Sky Bet is the SJA’s newest partner, the sponsorship being announced in October 2008.

Both partners support the SJA’s two prestigious annual awards events, including the presentation of a special UK Sport Award for excellence at the SJA’s Annual Sports Awards and the sports betting writer of the year at the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards.

The SJA Annual Sports Awards are the longest established of their kind in the United Kingdom.

First posted Oct 25

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Book tickets for the glittering SJA 61st annual British Sports Awards, being staged in London on December 9 – click here for details and booking form