STEVE ROWE was on hand to photograph last night’s sell-out SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, supported by Laureus and BetVictor, which celebrated a magnificent year of British sport and a magnificent year for British sports journalism
The stage is set, the champagne’s on ice, and the tables laid for nearly 400 guests… time to begin the 36th annual British Sports Journalism Awards.
Our annual exhibit of some of the leading entries in the photography awards, painstakingly collated by the chairman of the photography judges Mike King, was once again a suitable appetiser for the evening
Heathcote explained that in getting the image of Trenton Oldfield disrupting the Oxford v Cambridge University Boat Race, below, was just the beginning of a remarkable year for working in sport.
In common with many others accepting awards on the night, Heathcote spoke of the privilege of being able to work in a profession covering such events as a memorable Champions League final, won on penalties by Chelsea, and then the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The BBC enjoyed an outstanding evening, with a cleansweep of the three Broadcast awards – Radio programme going to Test Match Special, TV programme being won by BBC Sport’s Olympic coverage, and Clare Balding winning the Sports Broadcaster of the Year for her work with the BBC as well as presenting C4’s Paralympics coverage.
The BBC Olympic website also took the Laureus Sports Website prize.
Right, Michael Carr, the editor of 5 Live Sport, accepts the radio award on behalf of the TMS team, which was away covering the memorable final day of the third Test in Auckland. Not for the first time in the evening, Christopher Martin-Jenkins was remembered.
Holding the whole show together over nearly four hours was Jim Rosenthal, although he had cause to have half a thought on what was happening elsewhere: his son, Tom Rosenthal, was starring in the first episodes of a new TV comedy, Plebs, being aired on the same evening.
AFP photographer Adrian Dennis, right, was one of several multiple winners on the night, collecting the first prize presented, for his London Games Portfolio, which also led to his being named as the 2012 Sports Photographer of the Year with shots such as the vein-popping image of British Paralympic sprinter Richard Whitehead, below:
For some, such as Roger Alton, just making a presentation was described as “the highlight of my bloody career”. Alton, on the right, The Times executive editor, was presenting the Columnist of the Year, won for a fifth time by the Mail on Sunday‘s Patrick Collins, who paid tribute to his former sports editor, Malcolm Vallerius.
Ben Gallop and Clare Balding collect the Television Sports Programme of the Year trophy on behalf of the BBC from Debbie Jevans, now the chief executive of the organising committee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, after having previously worked at the London Olympic organisers.
Orla Chennouai, from Sky Sports News, presents the Sports News Reporter trophy to David Walsh, the first award won on the night by the Sunday Times journalist for his historic, dogged work in exposing the dishonesty in Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong’s career.
One of the final awards of the night, the Doug Gardner Award for services to sports journalism, saw a standing ovation for the SJA chairman, Barry Newcombe, celebrating a career that has lasted more than 50 years. Newcombe is pictured here listening to the tribute paid by his SJA colleague, David Walker, to the evident amusement of his table guest, Miriam Wilkens of the British Olympic Association.
- Further reports will be posted on this site in the next few days.
- For the full list of the 2012 SJA British Sports Journalism Awards winners and commended entries, visit this page
- For the list of past winners, visit this page
- For more information regarding the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards contact the SJA Secretary, Steven Downes on firstname.lastname@example.org
- For a sample gallery of some more of the outstanding entries for this year’s SJA British Sports Photography Awards, click here