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News Associates trainees mix with the stars at SJA British Sports Journalism Awards 2021

Patricia Cruz



trainees met some of the UK’s top sports journalists at the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards in London.

The Sports Journalists’ Association British Sports Journalism Awards recognise the achievements of the best sports journalists, photographers and broadcasters in the country.

SJA Academy members and trainees Ben Hart, Alec McQuarrie, Tamara Prenn and Dom Hogan were all guests of The National Lottery at the showpiece awards.

Ben said: “It was such a fantastic opportunity and I felt really honoured to be in the company of so many of the industry’s best. 

“I really enjoyed the chance to network with some of the writers and broadcasters I’ve always looked up to, and think it’s a testament to the reputation of that so many of it’s trainees were in attendance.

“I’m really thankful to and the National Lottery for the chance to attend the awards and I think it only intensified my passion for journalism and made me even more determined to one day be there as a sports journalist supporting my friends and colleagues.”

trainees Ben Hart, Tamara Prenn, Dom Hogan and Alec McQuarrie at the Sports Journalism Awards

Alec said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to attend the SJA awards and an occasion that will live long in my memory.

“To see so many talented journalists, broadcasters and photographers speak with gratitude and emotion was as much a pleasure as it was a motivation.

“Aside from the invaluable networking, it was a powerful reminder what determination and dedication can lead to.”

Tamara said: “It was such a thrill to be invited to the SJA awards to spend a night with the raft of talented journalists, broadcasters, and photographers looking to take home one of the top prizes.

“It was an amazing opportunity for us all to meet journalists we admired, and reconnect with those we had met through work placements, as well as for the occasional elbowing when we spotted some of the most recognisable faces in sports journalism! 

“Highlights for me were Martyn Ziegler of The Times and Sunday Times winning three awards on one evening, and Andrew Todos from the Ukrainian Sports Press Association presenting the Broadcast Journalist Award and sharing a few words on the sports industry’s response to the war in Ukraine.”

BCOMS representatives at the SJA Sports Journalism Awards, including Brian Matovu, Aymen Babar and Aadam Patel

Dom said: “The event itself was very glamourous and I was quite star-struck just reading the seating plan to try and find our table, seeing the likes of Laura Woods, Jeff Stelling and Jermaine Jenas amongst those attending.

“A highlight of the evening was a sustained standing ovation in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The entire room of around 700 people came together to show their support.

“From the ceremony the main thing that I took away was that patience and hard-work are intrinsic skills to success as a journalist, as was underlined in almost every acceptance speech on the night.”

joined forces with the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) and the Chelsea Foundation to deliver NCTJ journalism training to budding sports journalists Brian Matovu and Aymen Babar, who are now studying on our fast-track multimedia journalism course. 

BCOMS invited Brian, Aymen, and another fast-track trainee Aadam Patel, to attend the British Sports Journalism Awards and meet some of the most inspirational journalists in the industry.

Brian said: “Attending the SJA Awards was a fantastic experience. Being able to celebrate some of Britain’s finest sports journalists was a sight to behold and meeting some of the biggest names in the sport from diverse backgrounds was really inspiring. 

“It’s amazing when the whole of sports media can come together and celebrate the hard work and achievements of such talented people. Hopefully, I’ll return as a winner one day!”

Aymen said: “I’m so grateful to have attended the SJA Awards. It was an inspiring evening meeting so many journalists and celebrating their success and seeing my colleagues up on stage. 

“I was able to meet Jonathan Liew, who was one of the first sports journalist I started reading and it was a really special moment.”

Aadam said: “I’d describe my time at the SJA awards as nothing short of inspiring. Getting to meet and talk to some of the most accomplished names in sports media from an array of backgrounds and various areas of expertise was an incredibly insightful experience.

“It is something that has no doubt motivated me further to create a career in the industry and help improve representation within sports media.”

Beat Media Group managing editor James Toney, a committee member of the Sports Journalists’ Association, said: “This was a fantastic networking opportunity for these trainees and SJA Academy members, a chance to spend the evening being inspired by the very best in our industry.”

The SJA Academy offers support and advice for the next generation of sports journalists. Find out more here.

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The benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start

Alice Trout



In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. Between work, family, and other responsibilities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start.

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. By focusing on the present moment, you can calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts.

  1. Improves mental clarity

Practicing mindfulness can improve mental clarity and focus. It can help to clear your mind of distractions and increase productivity.

  1. Enhances self-awareness

Mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better. By being present in the moment, you can learn to recognize your patterns of thinking and behavior.

  1. Improves relationships

Mindfulness can help to improve relationships by increasing empathy and compassion. By being present with others, you can develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Set aside time

Set aside a specific time every day to practice mindfulness. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes per day to start.

  1. Find a quiet space

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a quiet corner of your home or a quiet park.

  1. Focus on your breath

Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air moving in and out of your body.

  1. Be present

Allow yourself to be present in the moment without judgment. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without dwelling on them.

  1. Practice regularly

Make mindfulness a regular practice. It takes time to develop the habit, but the benefits are worth it.

In conclusion, practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being. It’s a simple yet powerful practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and enhance our relationships. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you for it.

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How to create a perfect morning routine for a productive day

Alice Trout



Do you ever feel like your day has gotten away from you before it even starts? One way to combat this feeling is to create a perfect morning routine. Establishing a routine can help you start your day off on the right foot, and set the tone for a productive and successful day. Here are some tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.

Determine Your Priorities

Before you start creating a morning routine, it’s important to determine what your priorities are. What are the things that you want to accomplish in the morning? Do you want to exercise, meditate, or have a healthy breakfast? Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start creating a routine that includes them.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help establish a consistent routine and make it easier to stick to.

Take Time for Yourself

Many people feel rushed and stressed in the morning, but taking some time for yourself can help alleviate this feeling. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, taking time for yourself can help you start your day feeling calm and centered.


Exercise is a great way to start your day, as it can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whether it’s a quick jog, yoga practice, or weightlifting session, try to include some form of exercise in your morning routine.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can help fuel your body and provide the energy you need to start your day. Try to include protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables in your breakfast.

Plan Your Day

Taking a few minutes to plan your day can help you stay focused and productive. Make a to-do list or set priorities for the day, and review your calendar to make sure you’re prepared for any meetings or appointments.

Stick to Your Routine

Once you’ve created a morning routine that works for you, try to stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key, and sticking to your routine can help establish healthy habits and improve your overall productivity.

In conclusion, creating a perfect morning routine can help set the tone for a productive and successful day. By determining your priorities, waking up at the same time every day, taking time for yourself, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, planning your day, and sticking to your routine, you can create a morning routine that works for you. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

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10 simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in your daily life

Alice Trout



Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore 10 such methods that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress. It helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. You don’t have to engage in high-intensity workouts to reap the benefits. Even a brisk walk or light yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, and increase stress levels. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well-rested and refreshed.

Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to feel relaxed.

Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike in the woods to feel rejuvenated.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness meditation.

Listen to music

Music has a soothing effect on our minds. Listening to calming music can help to reduce stress levels. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes and listen to it when you feel stressed.

Practice yoga or tai chi

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. They can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Connect with loved ones

Talking to friends and family members can help to reduce stress levels. It can provide a sense of comfort and support during challenging times.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of life can help to reduce stress levels. Make a habit of practicing gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for every day.

Take breaks

Taking short breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress levels. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing or simply take a few moments to close your eyes and relax.

In conclusion, stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By incorporating these simple yet effective methods into your daily routine, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself should always be a top priority.

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