Social activities, bringing our members and our colleagues together, is at the core of the SJA’s activities throughout the year
The SJA stages one Golf Day each year, usually on a Monday in the autumn, using quality golf courses in the London area.
These popular social events are open to all, not just SJA members, and we welcome all standards of players, even complete novices and, as you might expect from a journalists’ golf day, complete golfing hacks.
The emphasis of the event is an informal day out with colleagues and friends, old and new.
In 2016 our annual Autumn Golf Day was staged for a 10th consecutive year at leafy Muswell Hill, one of suburban London’s finest and best tended courses.
Founded in 1893, Muswell Hill Golf Club is a par 71, 6,100-yard parkland course and a great test of golf. The tree-lined, undulating fairways and outstanding greens was a pleasure to play and the final stretch probably one of the toughest finishes among golf courses in London.
At our Golf Days, the main competition among the members is for the SJA’s Phil Sheldon Trophy, named in honour of the late golf photographer who was also a popular member of the north London club.
The cost per day per head includes an 18-hole round of golf (usually playing in three-ball groups), a two-course late lunch, trophies and prizes, and usually involves a subsidised rate for SJA members.
Socialising and networking
Contacts are key for any journalist, and the SJA tries to help foster good relations between our members and colleagues, together with press officers of the major sports federations, sponsors and event organisers.
These may take the form of sporting lunches, with key figures from international and domestic sport, international media receptions for visiting colleagues from overseas here in Britain for a major sporting event, as we did in 2012 for the London Olympics, for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and in 2015 for the Rugby World Cup.
The Sports Journalists’ Association also stages days when members can socialise at county cricket matches and racecourses. In May 2017, we will be staging a Race Day at York for the fourth year, sponsored by Ladbrokes, offering a full day’s corporate hospitality at the Knavesmire for one of the top meetings of the flat season to our members and their guests.
Or they might meet up at the occasional Sporting Question Time events which we stage, as we did in 2015 at the House of Commons with the Minister for Sport and her respective shadows from the other major Westminster parties. We have also staged a diversity forum in 2016, which was well attended.
A group of younger members also meet regularly in London – but all are welcome to join them.
Many of the SJA’s events benefit from a subsidy or reduced rate available only to our members. For details of how to join the SJA, click here.