Chelsea Foundation awards bursaries to three aspiring sports journalists to study at News Associates

Three ambitious sports journalists will train for their NCTJ Diploma at News Associates, with a bursary from the Chelsea Foundation and support from BCOMS, for the third successive year.

The successful applicants, David Olaseinde, Rosa Kama and Liberty Simons, will train for their NCTJ Diplomas on fast-track courses at News Associates in London in 2024.

The successful applicants from L-R: Liberty Simons, Rosa Kama and David Olaseinde.

Chelsea Foundation’s bursary programme is part of their work to help diversify the game – a central tenet of the ‘No To Hate’ campaign. Formed in partnership with the Black Collective of Media in Sport – an organisation on a mission to diversify the sports media in the UK – the bursary programme funds trainees from under-represented backgrounds to complete the course and offers a contribution to their living expenses too.

David said: “It’s a blessing to access this opportunity. After speaking to previous recipients of this bursary, I recognise the NCTJ’s value as a foundational tool that will help propel me to achieve my dream career.

“This is the ideal first step in my journey and I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.”

Rosa said: “It’s a dream come true to pursue a journalism course with the support of a bursary from my childhood club!

“It means a lot because it shows belief in my potential to make a meaningful impact in the world of journalism and represents a stepping stone towards achieving my aspirations in the field while also highlighting the importance of diversity, inclusion and representation in the media.”

Liberty said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from everyone involved with the bursary.

“This opportunity will allow me to grow in this field and access new heights that wouldn’t have been possible without it.”

Sports journalists Um-E-Aymen Babar and Brian Matovu were part of the inaugural cohort with Chelsea Foundation bursaries, support from BCOMS and training at News Associates.

Um-E-Aymen is now a journalist at Sky Sports News while Brian works as a club link officer and academy communications officer at Arsenal Football Club.

Sirayah-Shiraz Koraltan and Joseph Sam studied for their NCTJ Diplomas in 2023.

Sirayah-Shiraz is now a sports presenter, host and creative while Joseph is a presenter at Chelsea Football Club.

BCOMS founder Leon Mann MBE said: “We are delighted to be going into a third year in partnership with Chelsea. The club really are backing their words with meaningful action and collaboration.

“The very competitive process to select Rosa, David and Liberty and the success of those who have previously been awarded the bursary is proof that we genuinely make a difference to people’s Iives and the wider media industry.”

BCOMS chair Drew Christie said: “It was fantastic to partner with the Chelsea Foundation for a third year – and we’re delighted that this time around we’ve been able to award bursaries to three talented young sports journalists!

“The top-tier training and guidance they’ll receive at News Associates will supercharge their career development in the UK sports media. We’re excited by what the future holds for Rosa, David and Liberty.”

News Associates editorial development director Lucy Dyer said: “We are delighted to once again be able to work with the bright young minds we’ve been so lucky to meet via this scheme with BCOMS and the Chelsea Foundation.

“David, Rosa and Liberty all showed immense enthusiasm during their application process, and we are looking forward to seeing what else they can achieve with an NCTJ Diploma.”

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