How to join the SJA

Full membership of the Sports Journalists’ Association is open to those working in any branch of the business – reporters, broadcasters, photographers, editors and cartoonists; in newspapers or magazines, in print or online, on radio or TV.

But it is strictly restricted to professional journalists based in Britain.

Beijing Olympic photographers
Some of the SJA’s members hard at work

We have a category for Associate Members for those who do not qualify for full membership. This offers reduced membership rights and benefits, but with the prospect of becoming full members in due course (for instance, students upon graduation and entering employment as journalists).

All applications for membership are carefully scrutinised and checked by our officers and committee to ensure that applicants properly meet the membership criteria.

We ask all applicants to sign up online and pay your initial membership fee, and set up your annual subscription.

And we encourage all members to complete their profile, so that you can be included in the members’ area on the website.

The first step is that you should fill in the online form by clicking the link below:

 Apply to be a member – Click Here

Enquiries about SJA membership can be sent to

Important – do you qualify for SJA membership?

All applications for full membership of the SJA must be proposed and seconded by current SJA members, and accompanied by three examples of your work, professionally published within the past three months (with byline or credit clearly shown and publication name and date). Broadcasters may submit three digital audio or video clips by email to

In the case of those sports journalists whose work does not usually appear in a “bylined” format (sub-editors, photo editors, producers etc), then we will accept a signed covering note from a current sports editor or relevant department head who commissions or oversees your work.

If you are unable to find a proposer for your application, we cannot guarantee that your application will be accepted, but you may still apply with supporting documentation as outlined above to demonstrate that you qualify for SJA membership as a professional sports journalist, based in Great Britain.

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

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 associate members 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.

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

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


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