It is hard to believe that just a few short months ago all who are part of JSAD were celebrating a wonderful year of achievement by our members at our Annual Awards Dinner. It was a truly
memorable evening and it followed a very successful Disability Sports Awareness Week.
Envigorated by the above the various teams on our General Committee set about the annual task of planning the sporting year and in mid January those plans were all agreed and yet another very busy schedule of on and off Island events were published.
What followed wss not something anyone could have predicted, a global health emergency triggered by Coronavirus. Life as we all knew it changed almost overnight and I found myself reporting more and more of JSAD’s sports service delivery programmes being suspended due to safety considerations. Eventually all sport stopped and our Island entered what has become known as lockdown.
Since the various stages of lockdown were imposed we have been supporting our members in various ways to help some to undertake exercise in a restricted environment and being there for those who are finding self isolation or shielding to be very difficult. All of our SubCommittee teams have remained at their posts to keep monitoring the situation and to consider how sports services can be restarted when it is safe to do so.
The restart of sport will be a gradual one. One of the top priorities JSAD always have in focus is to provide a very safe operating environment for our members, coaches and volunteers in all our sporting areas, be that weekly activity or one off events so the additional considerations of providing a safe and workable sporting environment will be a challenge to all.
JSAD regular sporting activity will return but it will be a slow process and this will need to be our main focus for the next year, restarting regular sporting acivity on Island. This will be difficult at times, particularly for our coaching teams who will all need to design new ways of working with our members and indeed to be strong, particularly when numbers attending restarted services are low at first, that is perfectly understandable, but I can see this being something that may be hard to handle so we need to support our coaching teams too folks.
The greatest strength of JSAD is our spirit of all being here for each other. I am seeing some great team work being undertaken via video conference hosted meetings, and some really positive attitudes in spite of all our current plans being suspended or in some cases cancelled.
Is the current situation the greatest challenge JSAD have faced? I do believe it is but I also believe that together we can pull through and look forward to a day when life returns to as near the old normal as possible.
Thank you all and please stay safe and well.
Paul Patterson MBE
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Paul Patterson MBE