#SJA2012: A message from the SJA chairman

To members of the British sports media, and the British Olympic Association,

Barry Newcombe
SJA chairman Barry Newcombe

I want to express my thanks to yourselves and your many predecessors for the help, support and friendship you have given me over the four Olympic Games when I have been ticketing officer for the gifted British writing corps.

I have decided to stand down from the task. I will miss doing it, but it is time someone else had a go. I would suggest to the BOA that they send a media liaison officer to Sochi in 2014 to see how the ticketing allocation works on a smaller scale, establish and maintain some key contacts within the IOC and be ready for Rio 2016.

My introduction to the task came about early in 2000 when I learned that the BOA needed someone for the Sydney Olympics. A few weeks later I went to Sydney on an exploratory mission and I was hooked. The incomparable John Jackson was to be there as well and our hosts ensured that we had a debrief and a glass of wine at the end of each day.

On to Athens and Jacko and I were billeted in a maternity hospital close to the MPC. Each of us was allocated a high intensity maternity bed and spent each day walking through clusters of very pregnant ladies and seeing them the next morning with their new offspring.

In Beijing, Jacko was absent and a new corps assured that we ended the day in the rooftop bar of the Press Centre.
As for London 2012, I admire the effort that has gone into the massive output of words and pictures for all of the days of these Games. All of you who are involved will never forget the experience.

Many thanks and best wishes

Barry Newcombe

Chairman, Sports Journalists’ Association


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.