Sporting chance for Aitken and Collins to win awards

A SPORTSWRITER on The Scotsman and a young journalist on the Linlithgowshire Journal & Gazette have both been shortlisted for prizes at this year’s British Sports Journalism Awards.

Mike Aitken is in the running for the title, ‘Regional sportswriter’, at the event, which is run by the Sports Journalists’ Association. Meanwhile, Paul Collins, of the Linlithgowshire Journal & Gazette, is a contender for the inaugural ‘Young sports writer of the year’ award: aka the Ian Wooldridge Trophy, named after one of sports journalism’s greatest writers, who died last year.

Several of the country’s best-known sportswriters and broadcasters – including past winners Martin Samuel, of The Times, Sky Sport’s Jeff Stelling and Patrick Collins of the Mail on Sunday – have also been shortlisted, with the results to be announced at a gala dinner on the 17th of next month.

Also included for the first time is an ‘Internet sportswriter’ award.

According to the SJA: “Collins, 23, is taking a break from sportswriting to travel around the world. His last-known destinations were Vietnam and Cambodia, said a colleague at the Journal & Gazette.”

Among last year’s winners who will be hoping to retain their awards are Paul Kimmage of The Sunday Times (interviewer), the Independent on Sunday’s Alan Hubbard (diarist) and The Times, which won last year’s team award.

Said judging panel chair, Peter Wilson: “This year we had record entries in the writing and cartoon categories, with individual entries breaking the 200 barrier for the first time. It was also the first time we used serving sports editors as judges. They all bought into the concept with enthusiasm and, naturally, met their deadlines for voting. Plus, we had former sports editors on board, who also provided a wealth of experience.”

The shortlist reads:

Specialist correspondent
Brian Doogan – The Sunday Times
Kevin Garside – Daily Telegraph
Neil Harman – The Times
Stephen Jones – The Sunday Times
Martin Samuel – The Times
Henry Winter – Daily Telegraph

Sports columnist
Michael Atherton – The Sunday Telegraph
Simon Barnes – The Times
Patrick Collins – Mail on Sunday
Oliver Holt – Daily Mirror
Sue Mott – Daily Telegraph
Martin Samuel – The Times

Sports feature writer
Patrick Collins – Mail on Sunday
Paul Hayward – Daily Mail
Matthew Syed – The Times
David Walsh – The Sunday Times
Richard Williams – The Guardian

Sports interviewer
Paul Kimmage – The Sunday Times
Matt Dickinson – The Times
Donald McRae – The Guardian
Matthew Syed – The Times
Ian Stafford – Mail on Sunday
Brian Viner – Independent

Regional sportswriter
Mike Aitken – The Scotsman
Jon Colman – Cumberland News
Andy Neild – Lancashire Telegraph

Sports news reporter
David Bond – Daily Telegraph
David Conn – The Guardian
Daniel King – Mail on Sunday
Neil Harman – The Times
Nick Harris – Independent
Martyn Ziegler – Press Association

Sports diarist
Steve Anglesey – Daily Mirror
Alan Hubbard – Independent on Sunday
David James – Sunday Mirror
Paul Kelso – The Guardian
Charles Sale – Daily Mail
Martyn Ziegler – Press Association

Sports story
Neil Harman – The Times – Henman to retire
Matt Lawton – Daily Mail – West Ham transfer row
Colin MacKenzie – Daily Mail – Fallon drugs shock
Simon Mullock – Sunday Mirror – Eriksson for Man City
David Norrie – News of the World – Freddy and the pedalo
Paul Smith – Sunday Mirror – Capello for England

Sports team
Daily Mail – Steve McClaren sacking
Daily Telegraph – Rugby World Cup
The Guardian – Steve McClaren’s downfall
The Observer – 21st century sport
The Sunday Times – Tour de France
The Times – Bodyline 75 not out

Internet sportswriter
Andy Bull – Guardian Unlimited
Paul Doyle – Guardian Unlimited
Ed Gorman – Times Online
Ian McNeilly – British
Simon Rothstein – The Sun Online
Matt Slater – BBC

Young sports writer

Oliver Brown – Daily Telegraph
Andy Bull – Guardian Unlimited
Paul Collins – Linlithgowshire Journal & Gazette

Sports cartoonist
Kerber & Black – Daily Mirror
Pete McKee – Sheffield Telegraph
Nick Newman – The Sunday Times

Sports broadcaster

Adrian Chiles (BBC)
Alan Green (BBC Radio 5Live)
Garry Richardson (BBC Radio)
Jim Rosenthal (ITV Sport)
Jeff Stelling (Sky Sports)
Martin Tyler (Sky Sports)

Sports programme
Inside Sport (BBC)
Match of the Day (BBC)
Sports Report (BBC Radio 5Live)
Rugby World Cup Coverage (ITV)
Soccer Saturday (Sky)
SportsWeek (BBC Radio 5Live)