The JSAD has announced it is to hold its first Disability Sports Awareness Day on Saturday, 18th November.
The event will coincide with the annual Disability Sports Awards which will take place later that evening.
It’s hoped the day will let everyone know what is on offer for all islanders with disabilities.
There will be several activities on offer throughout the day at various venues (see below) and everyone is welcome, as Paul explains. “Whether it be someone looking to give a sport or activity a try, or someone looking to do some voluntary charity work, they are all extremely welcome.”
So this is what’s on offer.
Wheelchair Tennis has to be seen to be believed – what a spectacle! That’s at Les Ormes from 1000 until noon.
Learning Difficulty Football will take place from 1230 until 1400 at Les Ormes Football Dome.
There are various different sports on offer at Maufant Youth Centre between 1000 and 1500, and the times for Special Gymnastics will be announced shortly.
So, whether you, or someone you know, would like more information on Disability Sport Awareness Day, how to take part in disability sport, or fancy helping out as a volunteer, contact the event organiser by email: Paul Deffains.
In a year littered with awards, Alex Hilton has now another one on his mantelpiece - The Jersey Sports Council's Achievement in Disability Sport.
Having been, in his own words, inspired by the work of JSAD, Alex – who has a learning disability – is a man that takes part in many sports, which include football, cycling, sailing and running.
In 2016 – and entirely off his own bat – Alex decided to raise funds for the JSAD by challenging himself to cycle around Five Channel Islands in one day. Details of that success can be found here.
JSAD Chairman Paul Patterson said of Alex: "He's a great ambassador for disability sport and a man both inspired by JSAD and a man inspiring others with a disability to have a go at sport."
Alex was named JSAD Sports Personality of the Year in November 2016, and he also scooped the Heather Jones Memorial Award for LD Footballer of the Year at the same occasion.
The very first Five Islands Cycle Challenge, created and riden by Alex Hilton, has raised £6,156.10, it has been announced.
This amount will be split exactly in half between Wetwheels and the Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled.
"May I thank you all once again for all your support," said Alex. "It kept me going when times were tough, and without you, I would not have been able to do it."
And he added: "Looking forward to sitting down and planning the next one."
For full details of the challenge, click on the link on the left hand side.
British Gymnastics has appointed Alex as one of only four ambassadors for Disability Gymnastics.
The idea is to showcase the opportunities that exist for everyone in the sport, and British Gymnastics says Alex will enable them to do just that.
To find out more about this prestigeous award, go to British Gymnastics.
And you can read about Alex winning his ninth consecutive British Open title here.
The Run Jersey Half Marathon in June 2016 raised a grand total of £3,010.00 for the JSAD.
This half marathon is a scenic, fast point to point road race which attracts around 400 runners, and can be run as an individual or as a four person team.
As is usual, the JSAD has split the funds equally between all the groups from its Association who helped on the day.
So LD Football, LD Sport, Special Gym and Wheelchair Sport will all benefit to the tune of £752.50 each.
A letter of thanks has been sent to Digby Ellis-Brecknell who organised the event.
It has already been confirmed that the JSAD have been awarded the event again next year. More details on the 2017 half
marathon, which will take place on Sunday 11th June next year can be found here.
Already, reaction has started to come through from members responsible for the groups that have benefitted.
Alan Ronxin: “Many thanks on behalf of Wheelchair Sports.”
Mark Jones: “On behalf of the football team, thanks so much, it’s really appreciated.”
JSAD chairman Paul Patterson says the JSAD love to be involved in this event on a number of levels. “Our members get the chance to get involved with assisting runners by manning water stations and helping out at the finish line with medal presentations,” he said.
“Our wheelchair athletes take part in the event itself,” he added, “by pushing part of the course which always goes down well with everyone.”
And Paul enthused about the interaction between JSAD members and the runners. “It’s very special. Many competing in the event tell me after the race that they really get inspired on the course by the happy and encouraging way our folks support them.”
He went on to say that it was a real family event as well. “My little four-year-old grandson Joe was at the finish this year helping to get the medals ready for the runners crossing the line. He loved doing that and the runners loved it too!”
But of course this event is also an important part of the JSAD fundraising year. “The generosity of the runners and organizers is amazing,” he said, “and this year a fabulous total of over £3000 was raised. All of the money will be used to support our members.”
This event is now firmly in the annual Jersey sporting calendar and entries are attracted from runners outside of the Island. Indeed, some of them write in after the race to say how much they enjoyed taking part because it is so well organized and how special it is to see so many JSAD members on the course supporting the event and the runners. Some say this is unique to the Run Jersey Half Marathon.
And a final word from the chairman. “I love the event personally because it brings everyone together - able bodied and disabled athletes side by side. Very special.”
For further details please contact:
Paul Patterson MBE