By Peter Wilson
After eight years at the Radisson Hotel, the SJA is moving its two flagship events, the British Sports Awards and the British Sports Journalism Awards, to The Brewery in Chiswell Street in the heart of the City of London. Yes, we are going to be organising two piss ups in The Brewery.
The Brewery is a familiar place for many colleagues because it has hosted functions for many years.
Although The Brewery is not owned by Whitbread anymore – it was taken over late last year by the Earls Court-Olympia Group, it will retain many of the features that made it such a venue of character, including the bowler hatted meeter and greeter at the entrance.
The move was necessary because the awards had outgrown the Radisson. The hotel proved a popular venue but the pillars in its banqueting hall meant that guests either had their sight line intefered with or we were not able to sit the numbers we wanted to because the pillars got in the way.
That is not a problem at The Brewery, where there are no pillars in the banqueting hall. It also has an attractive entrance the committee feels is in keeping with the high standards we set ourselves at the awards, and a massive room for the pre-lunch/-dinner reception.
Another big plus is that it is a five-minute walk from Moorgate and Barbican underground stations, and is in easy reach of London Bridge, Liverpool Street and King’s Cross railway stations. It also has car parks close by, and because it is in the City, there are better opportunities to park on the streets in the evening.
The Brewery is undergoing a £3.5m revamp this summer and that includes refurbishing the night-club (closing time 3am) it owns across the road, the Boudoir. Fortunately, it will be changing its name; I certainly don’t want to be the one to ask Hugh McIlvanney if he wants a snifter in the Boudoir.
So, two Brewery dates for your diary: the SJA Sports Awards, Wednesday, 13 December 2006 and the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards will be on Monday, 12 March 2007.
Even further good news for SJA members is that we will be freezing the cost for each event at £65 per member.
So if you know someone who is eager to attend both awards but is not a member, it will cost £80 for December and £85 for March. Now with SJA subs standing at £23.50, even I can work out on my fingers they will be £11.50 better off by becoming an SJA member.
For more on the SJA Journalism Awards, click here.
For more on the SJA Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards, click here.
And for details of how to join the SJA, click here.