Record photography entry produces strong short-list

A record entry for the Sports Journalists’ Association’s British Sports Photography Awards has produced one of the strongest short-lists ever, according to the chairman of judges.

The SJA’s photography prizes are to be presented at a gala dinner for the British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by UK Sport and Sky Bet, to be staged at The Brewery in London on March 9.

Previous winning photographers such as PA Sport’s Gareth Copley, the 2007 SJA British Sports Photographer of the Year, Getty Images’ Stu Forster, the overall winner in 2006, and Clive Mason, the winner in 2002, are among the entries short-listed for prizes, as announced today.

Chris Smith, the former Sunday Times sports photographer who has twice won the Sports Photographer of the Year title, was chairman of judges this year.

He says: “Judging the entries wasn’t easy – there were some very competitive pictures and portfolios this year. The quality of the entry overall was excellent.

“The use of digital photography, with some images taken in very poor light, has moved on very rapidly, with pictures of a very high standard being entered this year which would probably have been impossible even just a couple of years ago.

“It was also encouraging to see such a high number of strong entries in the Young Photographer category. It was all very impressive.”

Among the judges with Smith were Lee Clayton, the Head of Sport at the Daily Mail, noted photographers Eileen Langsley, Patrick Eagar and Ian Stewart, and Graham Woods, the Executive Editor of The Times Magazine.

Overall, entries for the 2008 SJA British Sports Photography Awards were up by 10 per cent, and as well as entries from the national newspapers and major agencies, they included several strong portfolios from freelances and local and regional newspaper staffers.

Being an incredibly successful year for British sport that included the Beijing Olympics and also featured a British Formula 1 world champion, two English clubs in the Champions League football final and an outstanding British tennis player, the photographers’ subject matter was exceptionally diverse and challenging.

The 2008 Sports Photographer of the Year will be selected from the winning portfolios, the winner being presented with the Ed Lacey Trophy.

The short-lists for the writing and cartoon categories at the British Sports Journalism Awards will be announced by the SJA during the week beginning Feb 23.

The photographs on this web page are by short-listed photographers Clive Mason of Getty Images (the sailing shot) and Dylan Martinez (Reuters), who must have had to use a very wide angle lens to capture Usain Bolt’s “wingspan” as he crossed the line to win gold in the Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

Click here for an online slideshow of some pictures by short-listed photographers. Slideshow provided by

Tickets for the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards on March 9 are available now from Start2Finish Event Management, Unit 92 Capital Business Centre, 22 Carlton Road, South Croydon , Surrey CR2 OBS.Any queries please call: 020 8916 2237 fax 020 8916 2235 email:

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.


Young Sports Photographer

Gareth Copley – Press Association
Carl De Souza – AFP
Julian Finney – Getty Images
Paul Gilham – Getty Images
Dan Matthams – Nottingham Evening Post
Simon Stacpoole – Offside Sports Photography

Sports News Picture
Marc Aspland – The Times
Philip Brown – Freelance
Paul Childs – Action Images
Matt Dunham – The Associated Press
Tom Main – Freelance
Lee Mills – Action Images
David Shopland – Mail on Sunday

Sports Picture
Paul Childs – Action Images
Stu Forster – Getty Images
Dylan Martinez – Reuters
Clive Mason – Getty Images
Toby Melville – Reuters
Mark Pain – Mail on Sunday
Paul Thomas – Freelance

Specialist Portfolio
Stu Forster – Getty Images
Eddie Keogh – Freelance
Laurence Lustig – Freelance
Mark Robinson – The Sun
Mark Thompson – Getty Images
Edward Whitaker – Racing Post

Sports Portfolio
Shaun Botterill – Getty Images
Matt Dunham – The Associated Press
Tommy Hindley – Professional Sport
Eddie Keogh – Freelance
Clive Mason – Getty Images
Mark Pain – Mail on Sunday

More sports journalism links

VOTE NOW for your Sports Broadcaster and Sports Programme of 2008. SJA members should click here for a prompt list and information on voting