Refresh for SJA Committee as four new faces join

Broadcasting, content creation, sportswriting and digital expertise added to ranks of SJA General Committee as talkSPORT’s Kathryn Anastasi, Versus’ Mayowa Quadri, BBC Sport’s Emma Smith, and Laura Williamson of The Athletic come on board…

By Jon Holmes

Laura Williamson, Mayowa Quadri, Kathryn Anastasi and Emma Smith are the new Committee members

The Sports Journalists’ Association has welcomed four new members to its General Committee.

Kathryn Anastasi (Deputy Head of talkSPORT), Mayowa Quadri (Head of Brand at VERSUS), Emma Smith (Journalist at BBC Sport) and Laura Williamson (Deputy Editor at The Athletic) were elected at the SJA’s Annual General Meeting in April.

Their industry experience covers writing, broadcasting and content creation in print, digital, radio and other forms of media.

Kathryn Anastasi

Kat is the Deputy Head of talkSPORT, having worked her way up from broadcast assistant, a role she took 16 years ago.

She is an experienced live producer, working on events such as the British and Irish Lions Tour to Australia in 2013 as well as major tournaments. Outside of her core role, she launched talkSPORT’s first-ever apprenticeship scheme, which is now on its second cohort. She is the co-chair of the News UK Broadcasting Diversity Action Group and is passionate about improving ED&I in sports broadcasting.

Mayowa Quadri

Mayowa is the Head of Brand at VERSUS and a leading contributor to the vanguard of new sports media. Having freelanced at the BBC, Sky Sports, IMG PLP and more, he has taken learnings from established companies and combined them with his own experiences to showcase a new form of journalism.

His goal of making the sports content space more diverse and accessible has resulted in the launch of the Blue Creator Fund with Chelsea FC, hosting internships alongside Black In Sport Summit, and being a key voice within the Mercy FC launch backed by Stormzy and adidas.

Emma Smith

Emma has been an SJA member for the last few years and a sports journalist for nearly a decade. She is a journalist for the BBC Sport website, primarily working in written articles, including match reports, features and live blogs.

She specialises in football – in particular coverage of the WSL and women’s football – as well as boxing, rugby, cricket and LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport. She previously worked for Goal, Inside The Games and Daily Mail.

Laura Williamson

Laura is the deputy editor of The Athletic UK, where she has responsibility for the digital publisher’s football content and leading investigations.

Before that, she was sports news editor at the Daily Mail, having worked as a sports writer, columnist and athletics correspondent at the newspaper and MailOnline. She began her career in cricket and tennis at Hawk-Eye Innovations, and she is also the chair of the Volunteer Zambia Foundation, a charity which uses sport as a gateway to education in Lusaka, Zambia.

The new-look Committee met for the first time on Thursday.

Among the Agenda topics were the procedure to appoint a new President; and the establishment of working groups dedicated to the SJA’s two awards events, sponsorship, membership and the SJA Academy, and media and communications.

Read SJA chair Ashley Broadley’s annual report, delivered at the AGM.

Sports Journalists’ Association 2023/24


President: Vacant
Chair: Ashley Broadley
Vice-Chair: Leon Mann
Secretary: Philip Barker
Treasurer / Events: James Green

General Committee

Mark Alford, Jon Batham, Louise Bawden, Mary Fitzhenry, Paul Gilham, Jon Holmes, Ian Rice, Rachel Steinberg, James Toney, Howard Wheatcroft, Kathryn Anastasi, Mayowa Quadri, Emma Smith, Laura Williamson.

To learn more about the SJA Committee, visit our ‘Meet the Team’ page here