Sir Trevor Brooking was made an honorary member of the Sports Journalists’ Association at its annual meeting this week, in recognition of the former West Ham and England footballer’s work in initiating a long-term sponsorship during his time as chairman at Sport England.
The well-attended SJA AGM was staged at the head offices of UK Sport on Wednesday and had the air of a farewell, as the elite sports agency has reluctantly ended its backing of the SJA after eight years.
The SJA awards honorary status to those members who have afforded the Association valuable or long service. Sir Trevor, a former BBC pundit who now works for the FA, was thanked by the SJA committee for his support of the Association, in particular initiating the sports councils’ financial and other backing of our activities.
The outgoing committee had also recommended honorary membership for Trevor Bailey, at a meeting held just a day before the former England cricketer, FT correspondent and BBC commentator’s tragic death in a fire at his Essex home.
Bailey, together with Ray Matts and former chairman Eric Burley, were among those members of the SJA whom chairman Barry Newcombe asked the meeting to remember in a minute’s silence at the opening of the meeting.
The AGM received annual reports from the chairman and the treasurer, Randall Northam. The officers were re-elected en bloc, while Ian Cole, Ben Clissitt, Mary Fitzhenry, Steve Rose, Howard Wheatcroft, Stuart Higgins and Janine Self were elected to the 2011-2012 committee.
Former chairman Cole was confirmed as the new chair of the awards sub-committee, with Jon Ryan, the former Sunday Telegraph sports editor, and Mike King, a past Sports Photographer of the Year, volunteering as the chairmen of judges for the writing and photography awards respectively.
The SJA elections mean that, with the Sunday Mirror‘s David Walker, the SJA deputy chairman, plus the Telegraph head of sport Clissitt, and the Daily Star‘s Wheatcroft, there are more current sports editors working at the heart of the Association than at any time in its history.
With Midlands football writer Self also being elected and joining LOCOG PR Fitzhenry, there are now more women on the SJA committee than at any point in the recent past.
Chairman Barry Newcombe paid tribute to the work done by those standing down from the committee, Jim Munro, Stuart Robinson and David Welch. “We all know how important the next 18 months will be for sport in Britain and for its sports journalists, and therefore for the SJA,” Newcombe said.
“It is therefore essential that our committee team includes key decision-makers at the heart of our business. Having Howard and Stuart, as a former Sun editor now running a successful PR agency, on board will surely help us significantly in our dealings with potential partners.
“And having an active and respected reporter on the football circuit in Janine will undoubtedly help us keep right in touch with issues affecting our members.”
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Contact Paul Trow for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates