As we see life starting to return to a pre-pandemic feel, or as many say, ‘the new normal’, I think the challenges we have faced together have been largely overcome due to our amazing voluntary team who have chalked up more than 300 years’ of service between them. This is a tangible strength, but also an emerging weakness that I will expand upon later in this annual report.
I reported last year that we had no less than five of our services badly impacted by the operating facility used by them being under threat of closure, being moved or having reduced time at the venue due to factors outside our control. To a degree, all five services have pulled through, but it needs to be noted in some cases this is just a temporary reprieve.
A considerable amount of work is still being focused on finding permanent operating facilities, or at least venues we have some kind of guaranteed future use of. Here we are not alone as many other local sporting clubs and associations have had services being disrupted due to venue closure and disappointment that planned new facilities have been delayed due to the cost-of-living crisis.
While all of our local services were getting back to normal in 2022 we did have a couple of groups brave trips to the UK for competitions in spite of the challenging travel conditions and presence of COVID-19. Both groups performed very well but one group in particular had an awful experience on their return leg to Jersey. In 2023 more groups are planning to attend competitions outside of Jersey and we have one athlete who will be competing on the international stage, representing Great Britain in the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin. I am sure you will join me in wishing all the very best of luck.
I think we have two main focus areas to look at in 2023, the first being succession planning. I mentioned that our strength in having a considerable number of volunteers with incredibly long service time behind them was an amazing asset, which it is, but we need to be looking at the next generation of volunteers taking up some of the roles currently occupied by very long serving officers. Our weakness being that none of us are getting any younger. The other focus area I suggest will be to just keep on running the services as best we can as we see more of our Members, and new faces, signing up to take part in sport. Succession planning will therefore be a regular agenda item for us at General Committee meetings in the coming year.
Thank you all for your support over these most difficult of times and together we will get through whatever challenges are ahead.
Paul Patterson MBE
For further details please contact:
Paul Patterson MBE
5, Le Clos des Chenolles
Tel (01534) 872855