SJA to welcome Associate applications

In response to overwhelming demand, the SJA has decided to open a new category of membership – for Associate Members – to join the Association.

As an association for professional sports journalists, an increasing number of press officers and those working in public relations have had the disappointment of having their applications declined. Journalism students, keen to become involved in the activities of the SJA during their degree courses, have also been deterred from joining. Under the rules as they stood, even some university lecturers in sports journalism were not qualified to join the SJA.

Now, that no longer needs to be the case.

“We need to maintain strict rules on who may or may not become full members and receive our Press card,” Steven Downes, the SJA secretary, said.

“But we are also keenly aware that there are many people who are keen to be associated with our events, attend our lunches or receive our members’ email updates. The committee has considered this carefully and decided that a category of Associate Member should meet this demand.”

Associate membership is available to those in allied or related work to sports journalism, such as public relations or working as sports press officers, or to students undertaking degree courses in journalism or working on college publications, but not yet in full-time employment.

Associate members qualify for discounted tickets for SJA sports lunches and other member offers. Members’ guest rates for tickets for the SJA’s annual Sports Awards and Sports Journalism Awards events – a significant discount on the prices charged to non-members – are also available to associate members.

Associate members have their profile published in the SJA Yearbook, and they receive a free copy of the Yearbook, as well as receiving regular SJA email bulletins, with details of the Association’s activities, including early notification of our events.

SJA associate members may attend, but they have no voting rights at the Association’s annual meeting, nor may they vote for the Sportsman, Sportswoman or Team of the Year. Associate members do not qualify for AIPS membership, and nor do they receive the SJA Press Card.

No one who has held full membership of the SJA is eligible to apply for associate membership.

How can you apply?

The cost of Associate Membership of the SJA is £20 (including VAT) per year.

Applicants need to complete a full application form. This must be submitted together with a standing order form.

It is understood that it may not be possible to complete the application form with a proposer or seconder. Therefore the applicant should obtain a covering letter from their sports editor, employer or university lecturer.


Mon Sep 24: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Booking details from Paul Trow at

Thu Dec 6: 2012 SJA British Sports Awards. An Olympic year extravaganza. Note the date in your diary now. Details to be announced soon.