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Award to remember top sports editor

A journalism award has been named after an ‘inspirational sports editor’ who started his career on a regional daily.

The David Welch Student Sportswriter of the Year Award has been created in honour of the former Daily Telegraph sports editor who died in June at the age of 63.

David, who started his career on the Leicester Mercury in the 1970s, is said to have transformed the coverage of sport in UK papers.

The competition, aimed at 16-25 year old, will see the winner get a week’s unpaid work experience on the sport desk at the Daily Telegraph, where David was sports editor for 20 years.

They will also have part of their entry published on the Telegraph website and will attend a sports event accompanied by one of the newspaper’s journalists to write a report.

The competition is supported by the Sports Journalists’ Association.  David was chairman of the association’s sub-committee for many years and was the recipient of its Doug Gardner Award, the association’s highest honour for services to sports journalism and the SJA.

As the Telegraph’s sports editor David established the first daily sports supplement by a national newspaper and signed-up some of the biggest stars in the world of sport as columnists.

He was also credited by Lord Coe as helping to bring the Olympics to London with a well-judged Telegraph campaign.

Speaking after his death in former Telegraph editor Max Hastings said:  “David was the man who made Daily Telegraph sport what it is.”

The competition is open to school pupils and university students aged between 16 and 25 and who are in full-time education.

The leading entrants will be invited to attend the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards dinner, being staged at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London on 12 March, where the winner will be named.

A spokesperson for the awards said: “To augment that legacy with on-going encouragement to the sports journalists of the future is a fitting memorial.”

Entries must be emailed to  by 6 February 2012.

Full details are available at