Celebrations for top sports journalism students

The three top NCTJ sports journalism students have been awarded prizes from The Football League for their outstanding exam performance. The awards were presented at the 2012 Student Council forum in MediaCity today by Radio Five live presenter Peter Allen.

Marcus Chippindale won the first prize of the chance to report on the Championship play-offs, Will Wainewright was awarded second prize and will report on League One, while Chris Baldwin won the third prize of reporting on League Two. All the match reports will be posted on The Football League’s website.

First prize winner Marcus Chippindale studied at News Associates, Manchester and is now working as a features writer for Police Professional – a weekly magazine covering policing and home affairs. He says his dream job would be as a Formula One reporter.

Commenting on his win Marcus said: ""It was a complete shock to win the award. Considering the quality of young sports journalists in the country I feel very proud to have my work acknowledged by the NCTJ and the Football League. Reporting from Wembley is every sports journo's dream so I can't wait to sit in the press box in May."

Will Wainewright completed his NCTJ training at News Associates, London and is currently working as a financial journalist at HFMWeek – a weekly hedge fund trade magazine based in London.

Will said: “I wouldn't say the sports module at News Associates was a 'fun' module. It was rigorously taught and the importance of accuracy was drilled into you at all times. The tutors would be straight on your back if you screwed up, just as an editor would be if you filed late copy.”

Third place award winner Chris Baldwin also studied at News Associates, London and is currently working for Ticketmaster as part of their Olympics project team.

Chris said: "It's feels great to win an award and I still can't quite believe it. I've always wanted to work as a sports journalist and I am now more determined than ever to achieve this.

"The course at News Associates is second to none and gives everyone a comprehensive understanding of what is needed to work in sport.”

Richard Parsons, director of training at News Associates, said: “For all three, the Sports Journalism course was more than an extension of their studies. It was a chance to show their passion for a subject they discussed every day. As well as preparing in the conventional way for their exam, they benefited from the opportunity to report live from sporting events for our sister company, Sportsbeat news agency. All three had work published in national newspapers before they left us.”