Budding Newham journalist will work on national newspaper after picking up top scholarship

Karel with deputy Sun sports news editor Geoff Sweet

Karel with deputy Sun sports news editor Geoff Sweet - Credit: Archant

An aspiring journalist is celebrating after being picked for a top sports writing sholarship.

Karel Ikobonga, 23, is one of two budding journalists to win a place on the SunSport Diversity Training Scholarship with Wimbledon based press agency Sportsbeat.

Starting in September, the placement, worth £7,500, will include one day a week working on The Sun newspaper’s sports desk and a chance pick up a National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualification.

If Karel, from Canning Town, passes all his NCTJ exams, he will be offered a six-week paid internship with Sportsbeat followed by a three-month paid internship with SunSport.

Karel 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.”


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A judging panel made up of journalists from The Sun and Sportsbeat selected Karel and Lee Astley, 20, from Barking following a day of tests at Sportsbeat and a further morning of interviews and exercises at News UK.

Sportsbeat editor David Parsons said: “If they put in the work during their training there is no reason why they can’t become two of the stars of tomorrow.

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“The plan was to take just one candidate on the scheme but we were so impressed with Lee and Karel that we felt it right to offer them both a place.”

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