Tight competition and tough calls for 2012 SJA Awards

Michael Atherton, left, collecting the John Bromley Trophy as the 2011 Sports Writer of the Year from Carole Ann Bromley and the SJA President, Sir Michael Parkinson
Michael Atherton, left, collecting the John Bromley Trophy as the 2011 Sports Writer of the Year from Carole Ann Bromley and the SJA President, Sir Michael Parkinson

An Olympic year delivered an Olympian entry for the 36th SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, and the judges have now delivered their verdicts, with the leading six entries in each of the sports writing and sports cartoonist categories published here.

Sports journalism’s version of the X Factor dispenses with the “judges’ houses” stage, and goes straight to the final, with the outcome of the voting in each of the categories, together with the photography awards, to be announced at our gala dinner, supported by Laureus and Bet Victor, at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London on Monday, March 25.

The Sports Writer of the Year and the Sports Newspaper of the Year are categories determined by votes from panels of sports editors and leading media figures, and these will also be revealed on the night.

The category shortlists are peppered with past winners, including the 2011 Sports Writer of the Year, Michael Atherton, with leading candidates drawn from the full gamut of the British press, from The Sun to Private Eye, from the BBC to the Carlisle News and Star.

The lifting of some entry restrictions saw a record number of applications this year, with more than 50 entries in one category, that of Specialist Correspondent. “Judging this was a marathon and not a sprint,” said one of the hard-working judging panel.

The judges across the categories were in broad agreement, though, the standard of entries was higher than ever before. And that meant that throughout, the competition was just a fierce as that which our members and entrants will have witnessed at Stratford, in Munich, at Medinah and everywhere else in between.

The Grand Connaught Rooms a fortnight on Monday will witness whether the outcomes will be just as exciting.

  • Young Sportswriter for the Ian Wooldridge Award
    Amit Katwala (Sport Magazine)
    Chris Tait (Freelance)
    Jack Pitt-Brooke (The Independent)
    Jacob Steinberg (Guardian News and Media)
    Laurie Whitwell (Daily Mail)
    Martha Kelner (Mail on Sunday)
  • Sports News Reporter
    David Conn (Guardian News and Media)
    David Walsh (The Sunday Times)
    Ian Herbert (The Independent)
    Jon McEvoy (Daily Mail)
    Neil Ashton (Daily Mail)
    Paul Kelso (Telegraph Media Group)
  • Sports Scoop
    Bob Cass (Mail on Sunday) – Harry on the brink
    David Walsh (Sunday Times) – Broken on the wheel of truth
    Jacquelin Magnay (Telegraph) – Athletes hit with 34 page code
    Lawrence Booth (Daily Mail) – Kevin Pieterson text alert
    Michael Atherton (The Times) – Sorry Amir: pressure that turned him into a cheat
    Shaun Custis (The Sun) – This is no way to end career of club’s greatest star
  • Sports Feature Writer
    David Walsh (Sunday Times)
    Jeff Powell (Daily Mail)
    Martin Samuel (Daily Mail)
    Mathew Syed (The Times)
    Owen Slot (The Times)
    Paul Hayward (Telegraph)
  • Specialist Correspondent
    Brendan Gallagher (Telegraph)
    Henry Winter (Telegraph)
    Michael Atherton (The Times)
    Neil Ashton (Daily Mail)
    Neil Harman (The Times)
    William Fotheringham (Guardian)
  • Sports Interviewer
    David Walsh (Sunday Times)
    Donald McRae (Guardian)
    Ian Chadband (Telegraph)
    Oliver Brown (Telegraph)
    Paul Hayward (Telegraph)
    Riath Al-Samarrai (Daily Mail)
  • Regional Sports Writer
    Amanda Little (Cumbrian Newspapers)
    Chris Wathan (Media Wales)
    Jon Colman (Cumbrian Newspapers)
    Matthew Beard (Evening Standard)
    Paul Ferguson (Sunday Life)
    Simon Walter (Southern Daily Echo)
  • Sports Cartoonist
    Huw Aaron (The Rugby Paper)
    Kerber and Black (Daily Mirror)
    Matt Pritchett (Telegraph)
    Nick Newman (Sunday Times and Private Eye)
    Paul Woods (Daily Mirror)
    Russell Herneman (Sunday Times)
  • Bet Victor Sports Betting Writer
    Chris Cook (Guardian News and Media)
    Ed Hawkins (Freelance)
    Greg Wood (Guardian News and Media)
    Kevin Pullein (Racing Post)
    Sam Walker (Racing Post)
    Simon Milham (Freelance)
  • Laureus Sports Website
    BBC London 2012
    The Guardian
    Sporting Intelligence
    Telegraph Olympic
    Telegraph Sport
    The Times
  • Sports Columnist
    Martin Samuel (Daily Mail)
    Michael Calvin (Independent on Sunday
    Michael Atherton (The Times)
    Oliver Holt (Daily Mirror)
    Patrick Collins (Mail on Sunday)
    Paul Hayward (Telegraph)

Make sure you don’t miss out on the gala celebration of the best of British sports journalism by booking your ticket – or even a table – for the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards on Monday March 25 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden.

The event begins at 6pm, with a champagne reception and opportunity to view an exhibition of many of the leading entries in the photography categories, prior to a three-course dinner followed by the presentation of the awards.

There are special ticket discounts available to paid-up SJA members. But hurry – tickets are already selling fast.

Click here for a booking form, or contact our event organisers, Start2Finish, on 020 8916 2492 or by email to for more details.

JOIN THE SJA and benefit from a recognised press card, priority entry to key events and significant discounts and members’ offers on a range of activities