And the three principle prizes – the Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year – all awarded based on a ballot of SJA members, the voting for which opens today
They – well, probably “we” – said that there would be no British sporting year to match 2012.
And yet in the past 10 months or so, Britain’s champions have gone a very long way to matching, and in some instances bettering even the achievements of London’s Olympic and Paralympic golden year.
While there may not have been any Games medals on offer in 2013, the world titles, series wins and Slam victories just kept rolling in across a wide range of sports – which makes the task awaiting the members of the Sports Journalists’ Association all the more difficult.
Each autumn since 1949, members of our Association, the sports writers, editors, photographers and broadcasters who have worked with the nation’s sporting heroes and heroines throughout the year, have cast their selections – first, second and third choice – in a unique poll.
That time has come again, with SJA members really spoiled for choice.
Only full SJA members may vote. You must place your top three contenders in all three categories – Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year. You may only vote once, and you can choose whether to submit your vote online (which takes a matter of minutes) or by post. But you cannot use both, and duplicate votes will both be eliminated.
Voting closes at noon on Friday, November 22.
Here, just for guidance, is a prompt list of some of the leading contenders, champions all. But you may vote for whoever you wish – they need not be on this prompt list at all (though you need to ensure that you follow our rules on what qualifies for the team category):
SJA Sportsman of the Year contenders
Ben Ainslie (tactician aboard the winning Americas Cup boat)
Mo Farah (Retained his 5,000m world title and added 10,000m world title)
Carl Froch (World super-middleweight champion boxer)
Chris Froome (Tour de France winner)
Leigh Halfpenny (player of the series as British Lions won Test series in Australia)
Andy Murray (First British man to win Wimbledon title since 1936)
Justin Rose (US Open champion)
Richard Whitehead (T42 World Paralympic champion and completed 40 marathons in 40 days for charity)
Tai Woofinden (First Briton to win speedway’s world title since 2000)
SJA Sportswoman of the Year contenders
Rachel Atherton (Downhill mountain bike world champion)
Hannah Cockcroft (Two T34 Paralympic world titles in Lyon)
Helen Glover (Added rowing world title with Polly Swann to the Olympic gold she won in 2012)
Rebecca James (Two track cycling world titles)
Christine Ohuruogu (Regained her world 400m title, breaking 29-year-old British record)
Shelley Rudman (Skeleton bob world champion)
Non Stanford (Won world triathlon title in Hyde Park)
SJA Team of the Year contenders
For the Team of the Year, the rules require a team – a unit of two or more persons of both or either sex, competing in the same event – who have contributed most in the year to prestige of British sport on the international stage
British and Irish Lions rugby (Series victory in Australia)
British rowing men’s eight (First world title)
British women’s Modern Pentathlon (Kate French, Samantha Murray and Mhairi Spence world team gold)
England men’s cricket team (Ashes series win)
England women’s cricket team (Ashes series win)
Europe Solheim Cup team (successfully defended title, winning in America for first time)
Helen Glover and Polly Swann (Women’s pairs world rowing title and unbeaten all year)
Great Britain men’s gymnastics team (Two medals in world championships in Antwerp)
Scotland’s women’s curling team (World champions)
Wigan rugby league club (Grand Final and Super League double-winners)
UPCOMING SJA EVENTS
Thu Oct 24: SJA Lunch with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Fully booked
Tue Oct 29: SJA Masterclass with Andy Dunn. Click here to attend
Tue Nov 12: Laureus Lunch with All Blacks great Sean Fitzpatrick. Click here to book your place
Thu Dec 12: SJA 2013 British Sports Awards. Bookings now open. Click here for details
Tue Feb 25: SJA Masterclass with Des Kelly. For more information, click here
Mon Mar 24: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, Grand Connaught Rooms, London
Mon Apr 14: SJA Spring Golf Day: Croham Hurst GC, Surrey. Booking details to be announced
Tue May 20: SJA Masterclass with Janine Self. For more information, click here