SJA supports David Welch Student Sportswriter Award

The Sports Journalists’ Association is proud to support a new student sports journalism competition established to commemorate David Welch, the inspirational sports editor and long-serving chairmanĀ of the SJA’s awards sub-committee, who died in June this year.

Lord Sebastian Coe and David Welch
Lord Coe, left, pictured with David Welch, whom he credited with launching a Daily Telegraph campaign that helped London's Olympic bid

Open to school pupils and university students aged between 16 and 25 and who are in full-time education, the winner of the David Welch Student Sportswriter of the Year Award will get a week’s unpaid work experience on the sport desk at the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper where Welch was an influential sports editor for 20 years, creating a groundbreaking sports section and nurturing the writing talents of the likes of Henry Winter, Paul Hayward and Martin Johnson.

The Student Sportswriter of the Year will also have part of their entry published on the Telegraph website, and at the end of their week’s work placement, they will attend a sports event accompanied by one of the newspaper’s journalists to write a report.

The leading entrants will be invited to attend the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards dinner, being staged at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London on March 12, where the winner will be named.

David Welch was recipient of the SJA’s Doug Gardner Award, the Association’s highest honour for services to sports journalism and the SJA. He was credited by Lord Coe as helping to bring the Olympics to London with a well-judged Telegraph campaign. “To augment that legacy with on-going encouragement to the sports journalists of the future is a fitting memorial,” the award organisers said.

How to enter

The competition is open to all pupils and students aged between 16 and 25 currently in full-time education at school, college or university. All entrants must submit three pieces of writing no longer than 800 words each. They must be on the subject of sport, but may take a variety of forms, including columns, features and reportage.

The entries must be emailed to by February 6, 2012. Entries must begin with name, address, age and contact number. Also include details of your educational establishment, a referee from the school/university and their contact details.

The entries will be judged by a panel of eminent sports journalists who have worked in close association with David Welch, both in newspapers and in his sports media business, David Welch Management (now DWM). The judges’ decision will be final.

The top nominees for the Award will be invited with a guest to The SJA British Sports Journalism Awards to be held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, on March 12.

The winner will be acknowledged in The Daily Telegraph and have one of their submissions published on-line on Telegraph website. They will also be offered a week’s unpaid work experience, culminating in the opportunity to attend a sports event to write their own report accompanied by one of the newspaper’s journalists.

Click here to visit the David Welch Student Sportswriter of the Year Award website.