SJA member Eileen Langsley receives world honour

Eileen Langsley, a member of the SJA and one of the
country’s pre-eminent sports photographers, pictued right, has had her outstanding work recognised by being presented with the International Order of Merit at the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

At the presentation, staged in America, Langsley’s citation praised her “exceptional and extraordinary services to the sport of gymnastics in the UK and throughout the world”.

It is thought to be the first time that a sporting Hall of Fame has recognised a sports photographer in this way. It is certainly the first time a woman photographer has received such an honour.

“I hope that the profession feels part of it all,” Langsley told, “as for me it was great that the role of photography in the promotion of the sport has been recognised.”

Langsley has diligently photographed every member federation of the international gymnastics federation, FIG, since 1984.

Langsley’s work obviously covers a wide range of sports. Last week, she was busy at Henley Royal Regatta: click here to see some stunning new images on her own blog, where she has also posted some important analysis of how the Digital Economy Bill will affect professional photographers’ copyright.

At the gymnastics Hall of Fame ceremony, staged in Oklahoma City, Langsley revealed how it was almost by accident, through using photography when coaching gymnastics, that Langsley discovered her own talent for taking images.

She also gave special thanks to her husband, Gerry. “Without his love and support of 40 years, I couldn’t possibly have achieved all that I have done,” she said.

Also honoured with Langsley that night by being inducted into the Hall of Fame were Cathy Rigby (USA), Henrietta Onodi (Hungary), Yuri Korolev (Russia) and the late Mikhail Voronin (Russia).

The Hall of Fame now has 72 gymnasts or coaches representing 20 nations, and as part of the experience, Langsley was able to catch up with one of the first Hall of Famers, Romania’s Olympic champion, Nadia Comaneci (picture right).

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