The National Lottery continues sponsorship of SJA British Sports Journalism Awards and SJA British Sports Awards

SJA’s partnership with The National Lottery, now under stewardship of its new operator Allwyn UK, is continuing, with headline sponsorship of both of the association’s major events; “we are delighted to celebrate the very best of British sport and the exceptional journalism that chronicles it,” says Allwyn chief executive Andria Vidler…

By the SJA

SJA chair Ashley Broadley welcomes guests to last year’s SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by The National Lottery

The Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) is delighted to announce that The National Lottery will be extending its sponsorship of the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards and SJA British Sports Awards for another year.

The National Lottery first partnered with the SJA shortly before the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as headline sponsor of the SJA British Sports Awards.

Support for the Journalism Awards followed in subsequent years, and in 2017 The National Lottery became the headline sponsor of both of the SJA’s annual awards events.

This partnership is now continuing with The National Lottery under the stewardship of its new operator, Allwyn UK.

Darren Lewis, SJA President, said: “The SJA is very pleased to announce that The National Lottery is the headline sponsor once again for the upcoming SJA British Sports Journalism Awards and the SJA British Sports Awards 2024.

“The National Lottery has been a strong supporter of this association and we are very grateful for its backing in celebrating our industry and British sport through our two showpiece awards events.”

Andria Vidler, chief executive of Allwyn UK, said: “As the new operator of The National Lottery, Allwyn is delighted to be able to continue to support the Sports Journalists’ Association and to celebrate the very best of British sport and the exceptional journalism that chronicles it.

“We’re looking forward to what promises to be another momentous year for British sport with our National Lottery-funded Olympians and Paralympians at the heart of it.”

SJA President Darren Lewis speaks at the SJA British Sports Awards 2023, held in December

Since 1997, over £1.5 billion of National Lottery funding has been invested into elite sport and, with Paris approaching, National Lottery players are actively supporting over 1,000 elite athletes through UK Sport’s World Class Programme.

This elite performance provides inspiration to the vital grassroots organisations across the UK that are the backbone of sports participation in this country. Those organisations have themselves received over £6.7bn of National Lottery funding.

The extended sponsorship starts with next month’s SJA British Sports Journalism Awards. The awards are widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the sports media industry and date back to 1976. They now encompass writing, broadcast and photography sections, with over 30 categories reflecting a variety of disciplines.

More than 1,000 entries were submitted for the last edition of the Journalism Awards, and over 700 guests attended the gala ceremony in London.

The event celebrates excellence among the country’s sports writers, photographers, broadcasters and editors, whether staff or freelance, working for nationals, regionals, daily or weekly newspapers, as well as specialist sports magazines, news agencies and across all digital formats.

Confirmation of the new agreement with The National Lottery arrives ahead of this week’s release of the category shortlists, all determined by panels of expert judges.

First-prize winners in recent years have included presenters Laura Woods and Mark Chapman, columnists Jonathan Liew and Marina Hyde, pundits Gary Neville and Michael Holding, and photographers Clive Mason and Catherine Ivill.

In addition, the SJA has championed up-and-coming talent with four separate ‘Ones to Watch’ categories, as well as an SJA Academy award for those just starting out on their sports media careers.

This year’s SJA British Sports Journalism Awards gala will again be held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on the evening of Monday 25 March.

The SJA British Sports Awards will take place in December 2024. The awards will see the SJA honour their Sportsman, Sportswoman and Sports Team of the Year voted for by members, as well as the many other sporting achievements of the previous 12 months.

The SJA British Sports Awards are the oldest celebration of the nation’s sporting achievements, dating back to 1949.

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