Youngsters and Internet boost entries to record levels

By Peter Wilson
Seven young sportswriters from national and regional papers will be contesting the inaugural Ian Wooldridge Trophy to become the Young Sports Writer of the Year for 2007 at the Sports Journalists’ Association’s British Sports Journalism Awards, to be held in London on March 17

The entries for that and another new award, the Internet Sports Reporter of the Year, have helped boost entries in the writing and cartoonist categories in this year’s competition by 33 per cent, taking the overall number of individual entries to more than 200 for the first time.

The sports feature writer category has attracted 32 entries, with 30 journalists entering the specialist correspondent category and 28 challenging for the Sports Interviewer of the Year award.

The new award for Young Sports Writer of the Year will go to a journalist, aged 26 or under, whose work in the past year has shown versatility and a high standard of writing.

The award is being presented in co-operation with Sarah Wooldridge, the widow of the Daily Mail‘s late columnist, who died last year.

Judged by sports editors
Also for the first time, current national sports editors will be sitting on the judging panels.

Twenty awards for writers, photographers and cartoonists will be presented at the gala dinner at The Brewery in London on March 17 at Europe’s biggest sports journalism awards, in which the broadcast awards – for best Sports Programme and Best Sports Broadcaster of the Year – are chosen by a ballot of the SJA membership.

The event is generously sponsored by UK Sport, the SJA’s partners for more than a decade in the staging of these prestigious awards, and BT Vision, who also offer SJA members significant discounts on telephone, internet and TV services as part of their sponsorship.

Tickets for the night are available from Sandra Phillips at 020 8916 2237, with SJA members able to save up to £50 on a pair of tickets over the regular price.

Writing and Cartoons Judging panel: Alex Butler (sports editor, Sunday Times), Robert Charles (controller, sport, Channel 5), Lee Clayton (sports editor, Daily Mail), Ben Clissitt (sports editor, Guardian), Clive Collins (secretary, British Cartoonists’ Association), Andy Elliott (sports editor, PA Sport), David Emery (editor in chief, Non-League Paper), Matthew Engel (editor, Wisden), Amanda Farnsworth (editor, BBC’s Inside Sport), Tim Hallissey (sports editor, The Times), Kate Hoey (former sports minister), Paul McCarthy (sports editor, News of the World), Charles Morris (sports editor, Financial Times), Dean Morse (sports editor, Daily Mirror), Jim Munro (sports editor, sunonline), Brian Oliver (sports editor, Observer), Marc Padgett (sports editor, Independent on Sunday), Keith Perry (sports editor, Daily Telegraph), Dominic Ponsford (Editor, Press Gazette), Keir Radnedge (former editor, World Soccer), Martin Rowson (chairman, British Cartoonists’ Association), Charles Runcie (head of sport, BBC Regions), Jon Ryan (sports editor, Sunday Telegraph), John Samuel (former sports editor, Guardian), Matt Tench (sports editor, Independent), Malcolm Vallerius (sports editor, Mail on Sunday), David Walker (sports editor, Sunday Mirror), Howard Wheatcroft (sports editor, Daily Star), Phil Agius (sports editor, Racing Post), Bill Bateson (former sports editor, News of the World), Trevor Bond (former sports editor, Mail on Sunday)

VOTE NOW! SJA members can choose their Sports Broadcaster and Sports Programme of the year by clicking here