Grey-Thompson on Paralympics at SJA lunch, Nov 17

Golden moment: Tanni Grey-Thompson winning her 11th Paralympic gold medal

The Sports Journalists’ Association is delighted to announce that Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian, Baroness Grey-Thompson, will be our guest at a working lunch in London on Thursday, November 17.

Following a two-course lunch at the Charing Cross Hotel, Lady Grey-Thompson will answer questions about the state of Paralympic sport ahead of next year’s London Games, and on the preparations towards the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Lady Grey-Thompson will speak with a unique authority.

Between 1988 and 2004, Tanni Grey-Thompson won a record 11 Paralympic gold medals, at events ranging from 100 to 800 metres.

She also won the wheelchair race of the London Marathon six times. She was three times voted the Welsh Sports Personality of the Year. It is nearly 20 years since Grey-Thompson first received the Bill McGowran Trophy for achievement in disability sport, an annual award presented by the SJA, the oldest honorary prize in disability sport.

Baroness Grey-Thompson is in great demand as a speaker

Since her retirement from racing, Grey-Thompson was appointed to the House of Lords last year as an active cross-bench, working peer, and she has continued to be involved in sport.  She is a director of UK Athletics – she chaired last year’s anti-doping review – and she is a member of the board of the London Marathon. She is a member of Transport for London, where she chairs the Environment, Corporate and Planning Panel, and is a member of the Surface Transport and Safety, Health and Environment Assurance Panels.

Among her involvement with a range of charities, Lady Grey-Thompson is vice-chairman of the Laureus World Sport Academy, and a trustee of the Sport for Good Foundation.

This SJA lunch represents an outstanding opportunity for feature writers, chief sports writers and correspondents to meet an increasingly influential figure within British sport and sports politics.

The lunch is open to those who are not members of the SJA, but places are strictly limited to ensure we maintain the relaxed, intimate atmosphere that helps generate plenty of backpage headlines. So priority will be given to SJA members.

The two-course lunch has to be booked in advance, and costs £25 (plus VAT) for SJA members and £30 (plus VAT) for others.

As is usual at SJA lunches, our guest of honour is prepared to answer questions from the floor, although we expect attendees to respect her wishes if she makes any “off the record” remarks.

Journalists hard at work at a typical, headline-generating SJA lunch. Photo by Steve Rowe/SJA

Provision will also be made for a separate briefing for Sunday newspaper writers. Rights-free images from the event will be made available.

Please note: all attendees are also expected to ensure that they make mention of the Sports Journalists’ Association event in their published or broadcast reports.

The SJA lunch will take place in a private room at the Charing Cross Hotel (adjacent to Charing Cross station, which is also served by Tube at Embankment station), to start from 12.30pm.

Places are expected to be in great demand and will be allocated on a first-come, first-reserved basis, with preference given to SJA members.

The cost is £25 (plus VAT) for fully paid-up SJA members, and £30 (plus VAT) for non-members, to include a two-course meal and coffee. Guests are expected to buy their own drinks.

All attendees will be invoiced by the SJA Treasurer.

Contact Steven Downes by email to (please indicate whether a vegetarian meal or if you have other special dietary requirements; these have to be ordered in advance), and write “Tanni Grey-Thompson lunch” in the subject field of your email.

The Charing Cross Hotel is fully accessible, but please also advise if you think you may need any assistance.

All details are subject to change.

First posted October 17