In my report last year I stated that it was not my intention to offer my name to go forward for nomination as the Association’s Chairman again. Due to a number of circumstances that I will now expand upon I have decided to remain in post for one more year to ensure continuity of service delivery during the change. I will then review the year that has just passed and keynote our strategic direction as we move forward.
Firstly, after more years than I can recall our Vice-Chairman has decided not to seek re-election. Jeannine Carey has been a dedicated and loyal Executive Officer and has provided wonderful support to us all during her term of office. Recognised mainly for her lead role in providing disability sports services to those with a learning disability and of course a main driver in our annual disability games. I am delighted to report however that Jeannine has agreed to remain on our General Committee and will still be very involved in organising the 26x1 marathon relay event as well as the weekly sessions at Gateway and of course our games.
Another key change will be the retirement of our Administrator. After ten years of providing an exemplary administrative service to JSAD Dorothy Patterson has decided that it is time to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with family. We will all miss Dorothy’s help and detailed knowledge of how we operate. Following a successful recruitment process we welcome Trudi Gallichan as our new Administrator. Over the period of the past couple of months Dorothy and Trudi have been undertaking the not inconsiderable task of handing over the workflows and day to day functions of the JSAD office. This process is close to completion but I am very relieved to report that Dorothy will be willing to offer advice to Trudi and myself at various points of the year.
Due to the above circumstances I am sure you will agree that my departure at the same time as Jeannine and Dorothy would have made it very difficult for the Association to continue to deliver servicers without our members being adversely affected.
Before I look into the future it is now time to reflect on another very successful year for JSAD. Most areas of operation have seen an increase in membership and activity, particularly in the specialised sport specific groups. Following national trends JSAD are seeing members preferring to take part in a specific sport. This trend has seen numbers wishing to participate in general sports decline and this too is evident in terms of the numbers taking part in our annual games.
Last year I reported that we had two very important matters to navigate through, one being a complete restructure of service delivery by Special Olympics and the other being the new Jersey Charity Law.
In regard to Special Olympics, following a consultation process undertaken by Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB) in Jersey it was agreed that JSAD should become the lead organisation for a new Special Olympic Delivery Network. I am very pleased to report that this process is mostly completed and JSAD have formed a sub-committee that will administer Special Olympics Jersey. All local groups wishing to participate in SOGB activities in the future will be required to become a partner of the new delivery network. This has been a long and complicated process and I thank all who have worked so hard to get us to this very satisfactory position.
The Jersey Charity Law has not moved on so swiftly. While the law is technically now in place the Commission to oversee the law has not been formalised and a considerable number of the mechanisms that need to be in place to determine status have not been defined. Initial regulatory guidelines have also needed to be sent for redrafting. We are following closely all developments as eventually JSAD will need to register under the new law, once we know how to.
I shall spend the last few moments on this year’s report looking at the future. I did mention that JSAD are seeing a trend towards members choosing to be part of a more focused and specific structure with individual sports. JSAD will of course encourage this but will never lose sight of the fact that our main platform is to encourage any person in Jersey with a disability to take part in sport so a participation sports service will continue to be offered.
Our Honorary Treasurer will be reporting that JSAD spent far more than it received in the last year. This cannot continue and the General Committee factored this into the 2015 business plan. This trend continues so we need to work harder to raise funds to support our projects, or service cuts will have to be made.
We will soon be welcoming a new Vice-Chairman of JSAD into post. I will be using a considerable amount of the coming year working with the new Vice-Chairman with a view to hand over at the next AGM.
In spite of the many challenges, the last JSAD year has been a great success where it counts – our membership has grown, individual and team performances have been simply stunning, whether it be a good local performance right up to world class achievement and this simple set of facts shows me we are heading in the right direction.
My sincere thanks to you all for another year of very hard work and dedication which enables our membership to enjoy sport.
Paul Patterson MBE
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Paul Patterson MBE