Online voting opens for SJA Sports Awards

SJA members can vote for their Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year, with online voting now open at

The awards, sponsored by UK Sport, will be made at a glittering lunch staged in the City of London on November 26 when HRH the Princess Royal – a former winner of the Sportswoman of the Year award and now the President of the British Olympic Association – will be the guest of honour.

It is the 60th annual staging of the awards, the longest established of their sort in Britain, having begun shortly after London last staged the Olympic Games. Following British sporting successes in 2008, the organisers are expecting one of the most glittering awards events yet.

The SJA Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year awards are the most respected in sport because they are chosen from a ballot of the SJA’s members, which includes many of the country’s top sports writers, broadcasters and photographers.

Front runners for the historic 2008 awards include triple gold medallist cyclist Chris Hoy, three times Olympic champion yachtsman Ben Ainslie, Rebecca Adlington, Britain’s first woman Olympic swimming champion for 48 years, and last year’s SJA winners, F1 pacesetter Lewis Hamilton and sprint cyclist Victoria Pendleton.

To vote, you must be a fully paid-up member of the SJA. The voting procedure requires you to select your top three sportsmen, sportswomen and teams of 2008 from Britain.

Other recent past winners of the awards include world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe and Princess Anne’s daughter and successor as European eventing champion Zara Phillips, and Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team (2006); Paula Radcliffe, Andrew Flintoff and the Ashes-winning cricket team (2005); and Matthew Pinsent, Kelly Holmes and the England cricket team in 2004.

Click here for a full listing of all past winners of the SJA’s British Sports Awards.

Voting is open for one month only, through until October 31.

Here are some of the potential contenders as 2008 winners to consider:


BEN AINSLIE Third gold in three Games, making him Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor of all-time

TIM BRABANTS K1 canoeing 1,000m Olympic gold, followed next day by 500m bronze

JOE CALZAGHE, the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year in 2006, this year he beat Bernard Hopkins to add the world light-heavyweight boxing title to his undisputed world super-middleweight crown. Unbeaten in 45 contests.

MARK CAVENDISH first Briton to win four stages of the Tour de France and one half of the Madison world champions with Bradley Wiggins

LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO led Wasps to rugby’s Premiership title, their fifth English title, in his final game before retiring after a career of 85 England caps, two World Cup Finals and three Lions tours

JAMES DEGALE Beijing Olympic middleweight boxing champion, Britain’s first gold in the division for 40 years

RYAN GIGGS, pictured right, the most decorated player in British football history, he surpassed Bobby Charlton’s record number of appearances for Manchester United in the season in which he won his 10th Premier League winner’s medal and second European Cup winner’s medal

PAUL GOODISON Laser yachting Olympic gold medallist

LEWIS HAMILTON, the SJA’s Sportsman of the Year in 2007, winner of Grands Prix at Melbourne, Monaco, Silverstone and Hockenheim to lead the F1 world drivers’ championship at halfway

DAVID HAYE undisputed WBC, WBA, IBF world cruiserweight champion

CHRIS HOY Triple Olympic gold winner in cycling’s sprint, Keirin and team sprint, Britain’s most successful Olympian at a single Games in 100 years

PAUL NICHOLLS, pictured left with Kauto Star. Nicholls trained the first three horses in Cheltenham Gold Cup (Denman, Kauto Star and Neptune Collonges)

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN snooker world champion for the third time

LIAM TANCOCK set 50m backstroke world record and won 100m back gold at world short course swimming championships

BRADLEY WIGGINS won double Beijing gold in cycling individual pursuit and team pursuit


REBECCA ADLINGTON won 400m and 800m freestyle, the latter in a world record, Britain’s first woman Olympic swim gold since 1960

NICOLE COOKE Olympic cycling road race gold medallist

HEATHER FELL won Beijing silver medal in modern pentathlon at Olympic Games

CHRISTINE OHURUOGU 400m Olympic winner in Beijing, Britain’s only athletics gold

KERI-ANNE PAYNE took silver medal in the first ever Olympic 10km open water swim

VICTORIA PENDLETON, pictured right between Joe Calzaghe and the 2007 SJA Sportsman of the Year Lewis Hamilton, added Olympic cycling sprint gold to her two 2008 world titles

SHANAZE READE retained title as BMX world champion

LAURA ROBSON Wimbledon girls’ singles champion

REBECCA ROMERO won an all-British final of cycling’s individual pursuit – four years after winning a rowing silver in Athens

ELEANOR SIMMONDS the 13-year-old swimmer who won double gold at the Beijing Paralympics

HELEN TUCKER the surprise winner of triathlon world championship


MANCHESTER UNITED European champions for a third time

ROWING: COXLESS FOUR (Tom James, Steve Williams, Pete Reed, Andrew Triggs-Hodge), Olympic champions

ENGLAND WOMEN’S CRICKET TEAM retained Ashes in Australia

CYCLING: MEN’S TEAM SPRINT (Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff, Chris Hoy), Beijing gold medallists

WALES completed the Grand Slam to win the Six Nations’ rugby championship

CYCLING: WOMEN’S TEAM SPRINT (Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade), world champions

LEEDS RHINOS rugby league world club champions

CYCLING: TEAM PURSUIT (Paul Manning, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins), set world record in Olympic final to take Beijing gold to add to the world title they had won earlier in the year at Manchester

SAILING: YNGLING (Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb, Pippa Wilson), Olympic gold medallists, pictured in action

ZAC PURCHASE and MARK HUNTER lightweight double sculls gold medal-winners in Beijing

IAIN PERCY and ANDREW SIMPSON Star Class sailing winners of the Olympic gold medal in Beijing

CYCLING: WOMEN’S TEAM PURSUIT (Wendy Houvenaghel, Rebecca Romero, Jo Rowsell) world champions

GB ORIENTEERING TEAM relay world champions

(Note: For a vote to count for the Team award, the team you select needs to have competed together in a specific, identifiable competition)

Fuller profiles of some of the leading performers will be posted on this site in the coming weeks.

If you are an SJA member and want to cast your vote, click here and complete the easy-to-follow form.

First posted September 30

*UK Sport is the longest standing lead sponsor of the Sports Journalists’ Association, with an association that goes back more than a decade, in which the agency supports the SJA’s two prestigious annual awards events, including the presentation of a special UK Sport Award for excellence at the SJA’s Annual Sports Awards.

Book your ticket for the 2008 SJA British Sports Awards – click here for the form, including the members’ price discount