BCOMS pick News Associates to train Chelsea Foundation bursary recipients

We are delighted to join forces with the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) and the Chelsea Foundation to deliver NCTJ journalism training to two budding sports journalists.

Um-E-Aymen Babar and Brian Matovu will join our fast-track NCTJ course in London in February 2022 and will spend their weekly placement with our sister company Sportsbeat, part of Beat Media Group.

Two images positioned next to each other. On the left is an image of Aymen in her graduation gown, she is standing outside in front of lovely greenery and looks very happy. On the right is an image of Brain posing in casual clothes standing outside in the evening in front of trees decorated with lights. Aymen and Brian are the recipients of the inaugural or the inaugural Chelsea X BCOMS bursary, in collaboration with News Associates.

Chelsea Foundation’s bursary programme is part of their work to help diversify the game – a central tenet of the ‘No To Hate’ campaign, funded by club owner Roman Abramovich. Formed in partnership with BCOMS – an organisation on a mission to diversify the sports media in the UK – the bursary programme sets out to completely fund two trainees from under-represented backgrounds to complete the course and offer a contribution to their living expenses too.

BCOMS chair Drew Christie said: “Aymen and Brian are both fantastic young sports journalists and worthy recipients of the bursaries. They came through a tough field to claim this amazing opportunity, with the high-quality of applicants a great example of the journalistic talent that exists within underrepresented communities.

“The key thing for ourselves and Chelsea was that the young people we selected should receive the highest level of training possible. By partnering with New Associates – consistently ranked the best journalism school in the country – we believe we’ve done that.

“The education pathway and broader support offered by News Associates is second to none, and we’re excited by what the future holds for Brian and Aymen, both on the course and beyond as they develop their careers in journalism.”

Aymen said: “I am honoured to have been named one of the recipients for the inaugural Chelsea X BCOMS bursary. It is an incredible opportunity and I’m excited to be taught at UK’s number one NCTJ journalism school.

“This program will equip me with the necessary skills and training to become an accredited journalist. I hope to continue producing journalism that speaks to the heart of this country.”

Brian said: “I’m so grateful for this fantastic opportunity to be joining News Associates as part of the BCOMS x Chelsea Foundation Bursary to complete my NCTJ qualification. After speaking with the tutors, I know that this course will allow me to grow and develop as a top writer and journalist.

“I hope this is the first step in my journey towards bringing more diverse representation in sports media.”

News Associates editorial development manager Lucy Dyer said: “We’re huge fans of the work BCOMS do, and we’re delighted to be working with them on this inaugural project with the Chelsea Foundation.

“Having spoken to both Aymen and Brian I can tell they have buckets of potential and the whole team are really looking forward to working with them.”

See more about the other projects we have worked on to improve diversity in journalism here.