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Sky Sports presenter to hand out NCTJ Awards for Excellence

Nick PowellThe National Council for the Training of Journalists has named the host for its annual Awards for Excellence to be held in Manchester next month.

Sky Sports News presenter Nick Powell will anchor the awards, which aim to highlight the achievements of individuals with promising journalism careers ahead of them

The ceremony and lunch is taking place at Halle St Peter’s on Thursday, 17 March, following an accreditation seminar for course leaders and industry advisers.

Double Royal Television Society (RTS) award winner Nick, pictured left, has been a presenter on Sky Sports News and Sky News since December 1996.

After completing his NCTJ training alongside a postgraduate journalism course at Cardiff University, he spent four years broadcasting on Pennine Radio News and Sport before becoming a news presenter at Yorkshire Television where he covered football, rugby league, cricket and boxing.

In January 1996 Nick joined Sky as a news producer, but switched back to sports presenting before the year was out after missing live broadcasting. He has been Sky News sports editor since 2010, and is a presenter on Sky Sports News.

Highlights of his career include coverage of Super Saturday at the London Olympics, England regaining the Ashes after two decades at the Oval in 2005 and Andy Murray’s first Wimbledon title.

Journalism students and alumni will also recognise Nick as the ‘face of NCTJ exams’, as he has recorded scenarios for the NCTJ’s essential journalism exams since 2017.

Said Nick: “I have been forever grateful for my NCTJ training in Cardiff, which has been the foundation of my entire journalistic career.

“I find you can tell pretty quickly whether a journalist has had NCTJ training or not. Invariably, the ones who have are the ones who write grabbing intros, don’t waste words and check everything. At the time, I remember thinking our Cardiff tutors were pretty brutal in their assessments, but the pain was worth it.

“It was a bit of an accident that I became the voice of the NCTJ exams, but I am always really happy to help – and I’m delighted to be a part of this awards ceremony. There have been one or two amusing incidents.

“I was in the coffee queue once, when a young producer, newly arrived at Sky, suddenly broke off a conversation with a friend on hearing me ordering my Americano. ‘Oh my God it’s you’, she said. ‘Hearing your voice took me right back into the exam room.”

News UK is headline sponsor of the awards with Sky News sponsoring of the student and trainee data journalism awards, which are new for this year.

These awards aim to recognise the skills in visualising data, reporting stories from data sets and Freedom of Information requests and developing human interest angles.

Other award sponsors include the Financial Times, for the equality, diversity and inclusion award, the Independent, for the student of the year award, the i, for the apprentice of the year award, and Meta, for the Community News Project award.

Tickets for the Awards for Excellence ceremony and accreditation seminar can be booked here.