Two win Sun sports journalism scholarship

The Sun has named two winners of its sports journalism training scholarship after originally intending to offer the opportunity, worth £7,500, to one person.

Lee Astley, from Barking, and Karel Ikobonga, from Newham, were the winners of the SunSport Diversity Training Scholarship and will start their 40-week scholarship in September.

The pair will be trained at News Associates, in Wimbledon, which is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists. The course will also include working one day a week on The Sun's sportsdesk.

If they pass all their exams they will be offered a six-week paid internship at Sportsbeat, a sports news agency and sister to News Associates, followed by a three-month paid internship at The Sun.

The scheme is aimed at providing an opportunity for aspiring journalists from Olympic boroughs who could otherwise not have afforded their college fees.

Ikobonga (above with Sun sports news editor Geoff Sweet) lives with his mother, Nicole, who is a cleaning supervisor in the City. He played semi-professional football until he broke his leg last season.

Ikobonga, 23, said: "I am very grateful for this opportunity. My mum is over the moon. She knows where we have come from as a family this is a great chance and I know not to waste it."

Astley, 20, said: “There is no way I could have afforded a place on this course. It is dreamland for me. I know the course is going to be hard but I’m looking forward to getting out and reporting on sporting events.”

Sun editor David Dinsmore said: “This is a great chance for two brilliant youngsters. Sport is the heartbeat of The Sun and it’s vital we keep our production line of new talent moving.”

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