Ground-breaker Shooble is first recipient of SJA diversity scholarship

Ahmed Shooble was the first member of his immediate family to be born in the UK, the first to attend university, and is now the first recipient of the SJA’s sports journalism diversity scholarship, in partnership with News Associates.

The 22-year-old, whose family fled the civil war in Somalia in the 1990s, was the outstanding candidate for the award. He will study full time for 35 weeks at the NCTJ- accredited multimedia sports journalism course in London in September with his fees covered by the scholarship.

He will then be offered a four-month full-time paid contract at national press agency Sportsbeat commencing in May 2020, which includes the opportunity to work with the British Olympic Association during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in July and August.

The Coventry University business and law graduate (pictured left) said: “I aspire to be a chief football writer for a national newspaper and a symbol of success to future generations of young people from minority backgrounds interested in the sports media.

“I am immensely grateful to Sportsbeat, News Associates and the Sports Journalists’ Association for giving me this incredible opportunity.

“I decided to embark on a career in sports journalism mainly because I was not happy with the lack of varied perspectives and representation in the industry, particularly with football.

“I was both the first member of my immediate family to be born in the UK and to attend university, as my family fled the civil war in Somalia in the 1990s.”

SJA co-chair Janine Self said: “Congratulations Ahmed! You are taking a first important and ground-breaking step towards becoming a sports journalist and we would like to wish you all the best for the future.

“We will be following your progress with interest.”

Sportsbeat and News Associates managing editor James Toney said: “Huge congratulations to Ahmed – it was a very competitive process and his passion and enthusiasm shone through.

“We look forward to welcoming him to the number one ranked NCTJ journalism school in the UK and then to our Sportsbeat news desk – where he’ll help with build-up coverage to the Tokyo Olympics, including spending time with our client Team GB, who, alongside the Sports Journalists’ Association, have been a huge supporter of this initiative.”

The SJA was delighted to have the assistance of News Associates students, who did a great job of reporting at the British Sports Awards (picture above).