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Weekly’s rugby special commended in national sports awards

A weekly newspaper’s celebration of an historic rugby club on its patch was highly commended by judges but failed to overcome national competition at the British Sports Journalism Awards.

The Bath Chronicle’s 104-page supplement marking 150 years of Bath, one of England’s oldest and most famous rugby union teams, lost out to the Sunday Times in the Special Sports Edition category.

Monday’s ceremony also saw Chris Wathan, of Media Wales, and Will Watt, of Blackpool daily The Gazette, highly commended by judges in the Regional Sports Journalist category.

The title was won by James Olley, of London’s Evening Standard.

The Bath Chronicle's supplement was highly commended by judges

The Bath Chronicle’s supplement was highly commended by judges

Other nominees in the category were five-time winner Jon Colman, of the CN Group, Mark Douglas, of Newcastle dailies The Chronicle and The Journal, and Phil Hay, of the Yorkshire Evening Post.

There was a record entry of 219 for the 15 categories in the writing, website and multi-media awards, organised by the Sports Journalists’ Association.

They were assessed by a panel of 94 judges, drawn mainly from national and regional sports journalists, distinguished journalists in other fields and sportspeople.

Tom Clarke, chairman of the judges, said: “It is a sign of the talent in the ever-changing nature of our business that we have new names on the podium.”

He added: “As with all awards, there are differing opinions. However, the judges’ decision has to be final. The judges can judge only what it is in front of them and what they know at the time.”