In some brilliant news to start 2021, Mark Jones has been rewarded for his tireless work supporting the learning disabilities community in Jersey.
He has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year's Honours list.
This fantastic achievement will be especially applauded by the considerable number of JSAD members who regularly enjoy sporting opportunities created by, or supported by Mark.
Mark told BBC Jersey that he thought it was a bit of a wind-up at first.
“When I realised it was genuine, I got completely over-emotional when it dawned on me what a fantastic honour it was. Such a proud, proud moment.”
“It’s hard to put into words the joy I get from working with those with learning disabilities. They enjoy it so much and are so appreciative. It’s fantastic all around, to be honest.”
And he has plenty of praise for the way disability sport is encouraged in Jersey. “We have a fantastic umbrella organisation in the JSAD, and they do incredible work – there are so many volunteers who do the same work as I do, so really my award is for all the volunteers.”
JSAD chairman Paul Patterson MBE enthusiastically welcomed the news. "Well done Mark, and I am sure that all JSAD members will join me in congratulating you on your well deserved award."
So. let us all raise a glass to Mark Jones, and to the prospect of getting some disability sport operating again when it's safe to so do.
Due to the global pandemic, most JSAD activities have been either suspended or operating a much reduced service.
Here is the current status of JSAD activity, which will be updated as soon as there are any further developments.
Service suspended, but wheelchair maintenance being undertaken
|Wheelchair Tennis||Service suspended|
|Special Gym||Service suspended|
|Gateway (all activity)||Services Suspended. Scroll down to see what's available once it's considered safe to reopen|
|LD Football||OPERATIONAL - outdoors - sessions to relocate to to Haut Vallee every Saturday 1300 - 14.00 for as long as possible|
|LD Ten Pin Bowling||Service suspended|
|Martial Arts||Service Suspended - now under threat of permanent closure|
|Wheelchair Athletics||OPERATIONAL - operating on an individual basis, all outdoor|
|Golf||OPERATIONAL - with restrictions|
The Jersey Special Gym Club has abandoned all 2020 travel plans due to the high risk posed by the global health emergency.
The JSAD admin office remains operational, as do the JSAD General Committee and Sub-Committees.
In the meantime, Jersey Sport have set out suggestions on keeping active when in self isolation. Click here for the details.
The lastest information from the States of Jersey can be found here.
The Maufant Centre Club is a social club for over 18s, based at Maufant Youth Centre in St. Saviour.
Its aim is to provide different activities and opportunities for everyone with different abilities.
The sessions, once the venue re-opens, will be Thursday from 19.30-21.00 during term time, during which time you can find out about all the different facilities like the huge sports hall, a dance room, arts room, pool room, television, social and kitchen areas, and of course the important coffee bar!
Also provided each week are the new table cricket sessions, which have already become increasingly popular.
If you feel this may be something right up your street, you can contact Jeannine or Zoe for more details:
Jeannine: 07797 713166 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe: 07829 87358 - email@example.com
We all look forward to seeing you on Thursdays once the centre is considered safe to open. Watch this space for further announcements.
The JSAD was presented with three brand new sports wheelchairs, courtesy of Peritus Investment Consultancy, in partnership with the Lord's Taverners and Lady Taverners Jersey.
Peritus have provided the gardienne funding for the wheelchairs, which were supplied by the Taverners. Each chair costs £3,500, and the gardienne funding is vital to ensure safe keeping of this valuable kit.
James Day, Managing Director of Peritus said: "JSAD has grown into one of Jersey's largest sporting organisations, offering a wide range of sports to all ages and disability ranges."
He added: "It is a pleasure to support such a worthy cause as part of our CSR commitment, and we are thrilled to have been able to support Lord's Taverners and Lady Taverners to provide more essential chairs."
The Lady Chair of Jersey Lady Taverners, Leanda Jane Guy, was equally enthusiastic. "We have been fund raising in the Island for over 30 years, next year is the Lord's Taverners 70th anniversary," she said. "We presented three chairs in 2018 with partners Stonehage Fleming which were used in the 2019 Outreach programme. It is our pleasure to join forces with Peritus to provide another three much needed chairs."
They both were encouraged to hear that 600 local students took part in the recent Outreach programme.
Find out more about Peritus Investment Consultancy, who are one of the world's leading independently owned investment consultants.
You can also learn more about the work of the Lord's Taverners by clicking on the link.
In early April, a group from Jersey MENCAP went to Les Quennevais Sports Hall to have a go at wheelchair basketball.
Everybody had a great time, as the JSAD operated an 'outreach' style training session, which followed the now tried and tested method used for the annual Schools Outreach Programme. That programme will operate again in November 2019 as part of the JSAD Disability Sports Awareness Week.
Take a look at some of the action from Jersey MENCAP's visit!
Melissa Alves has capped a brilliant year for her by winning the Jersey Sports Council's Achievement in Disability Sports award.
She picked up her trophy at the annual Jersey Sports Council awards at the Royal Yacht Hotel.
This comes just over three months after she became the 2018 JSAD Sports Personality of the Year.
It’s another popular win for a JSAD member of many years, who has always supported the aims and objectives of theJSAD to the full as well as taking part in a number of wheelchair sports.
Melissa is a great champion of our aims and uses any public speaking opportunity she gets to promote the JSAD and to encourage others with a disability to take part.
She has also been a very active fundraiser for JSAD for many years, raising many thousands of pounds through sponsorship of various events.
And, modest and unassuming as ever, she paid tribute to the JSAD. “I would just like to say a very big thank you for nominating me for the award last night”, she said. “It was such a lovely evening, I really had the best time.”
She made all the volunteers and coaches that give so much time and effort to the association very proud, when she added: “Thank you again! Without JSAD, none of my sports achievements would have been possible! Very grateful to you all.”
The most successful gymnast ever in the history of the JSAD has called time on his incredible career.
The JSAD has just received an email from his father Gary, which included a statement from Alex which we are happy to show below.
On behalf of all of us at the JSAD we wish him a happy and well-deserved retirement!
Here is the message from Alex...
At the end of March 2018, I will be officially hanging up my competition handguards.
The last 14 years have been incredible and so very rewarding. I am finishing my competitive journey on what I believe to be the height of my sporting career.
This last year I have achieved the following:
Tenth consecutive British Disability National Title.
Represented Jersey in the NatWest Island Games.
Chosen as a British Gymnastics Disability Ambassador.
Awarded the ITV Michael Lucas Sporting Hero Award.
All of which I am extremely proud.
Together with countless Gold medal titles in Special Olympic National, European and World Games representing Great Britain, I have also been recognised by the Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled as their Sports Person of the Year and the Jersey Sports Council for Achievement in Disability Sport both on 2 occasions.
I would like to pay special thanks to John Grady MBE for his guidance and encouragement in the early days and Yana Vibert for taking over the task more recently. Ben Frith & the Jersey boys for accepting me onto the Island Games Squad & the Jersey Special Gymnastics Club for all the opportunities.
The press & media have always been behind me reporting on my achievements for which I am grateful & very humbled.
Thank you to my family Dad, Mum & Ben. I could not have achieved all of this without their support.
I am planning to stay around coaching at my club and hopefully pass on what I know to the next generation.
Thank you to all involved in helping me achieve my dreams.
In an already astonishing award-winning 12 months, gymnast Alex Buesnel has gained yet another one.
He has won the Achievement in Disability Sports Award at the annual Jersey Sports Council awards.
He was also nominated for the top prize, Sports Person of the Year, but in the end, that ward went to athlete Sam Dawkins.
The ceremony took place at the Royal Yacht Hotel.
The charity, which uses the huge value of swimming for physical and psychological rehabilitation for people suffering from mobility issues, or recovering from injury
or operations, will now be known as Jersey DIPS Swim Therapy.
There are also several changes of personnel, starting at the helm, where Sophie Small is the new Chair.
Gwynneth Morgan takes over as Honorary Secretary, while a team of lifeguards from Aqua Splash is providing the essential lifeguard, without which the pool cannot be opened for members.
This comes at a cost - it was found impossible to find a volunteer lifeguard. Sophie Small says: “We are still looking for volunteer lifeguards who are already qualified or would be happy to take the ATSPRA (Aquatic therapy shallow pool rescue award), so we can reduce our charity’s costs and always have people to call upon if needed.”
The charity continues to look for more volunteers to join the committee, and if you want more information, take a look at its Facebook page:
Alternatively, you can contact the charity here: firstname.lastname@example.org
On another great night for the JSAD, Alex Buesnel won the Michael Lucas Sporting Hero Award, 2017 Channel Islands Sports Awards, following his stunning exploits in the past 12 months.
His coach Yana Vibert was runner-up in the Coach of the Year section.
Writing on his Twitter account, Alex posted: "Well, I'm lost for words. Too many people good at keeping secrets! Thanks to everyone involved."
As for Yana, she said Alex's triumph was a "Proud Coach Moment!"
The JSAD were very well represented in the 2017 "Pride of Jersey" finals at St. John's Manor, with Alex Hilton, Yana Vibert and Alex Buesnel all presented with trophies in their various categories.
Another JSAD legend, Jeannine Carey, was also nominated, although she didn't make finals day. But the JSAD think they are all winners!
Below you can read all about the four nominations.
“Incredible” and “Inspirational” are two words used to descibe JSAD coach Jeannine Carey, who has supported the association for over 25 years,
During that time, she has served as vice chairman for a number of years.
She was nominated in the category “Inspirational” by her two daughters Zoe and Josie, who said: “She has changed so many lives over her years of helping the charity.”
They added:“She has been an incredible role model for us, and is a walking hero!”
Also nominated for a “Pride of Jersey” award is the current JSAD Sportsperson of the Year, Alex Hilton.
He is up for the Fundraiser/Volunteer of the Year, after his exploits in the Five Island Cycle Challenge.
He was nominated, among several others, by Chantelle-Emma Harvey, who said “This was such a huge success for him and showed others that anything is possible, if you just put your mind to it."
Alex posted on FaceBook: "It's not just an honour for me, but for all disabled islanders out there, as I did what I set out to do for you lot."
For the second time, Jersey Special Gymnastic Club’s head coach Yana Vibert has been nominated for Inspirational Leader of the Year In the 2017 Pride of Jersey awards.
Yana has held her position in the club for the last three years, and was GB head coach at the World Games in Los Angeles
in 2015. Also that year, she was voted the JSAD Coach of the Year at its annual award ceremony.
Husband Phil, who has nominated her this year, says: ”She is a true ambassador for the sport, and is endlessly dedicated to her gymnasts.”
Last, but most certainly not least, a Young Achiever of the Year nomination for maybe the man of the moment in disability sport, Alex Buesnel.
His latest exploits can be found here.
Parents Gary and Sharon Buesnel say: “Alex illustrates what can be achieved with determination, commitment, and hard work, even if you have a disability.”
Sol Bressat, swimming for Jersey Tigers, won three para-swimming gold medals at the 2017 Swim England National Summer Meet in Sheffield.
The 22-year-old’s success started with winning the MC 200m IM, almost half a second ahead of the silver medallist.
But his other two triumphs were somewhat closer! There was gold in the MC 200m Free, Soll winning by just 0.19 seconds. He said afterwards: “I was so nervous. Getting that PB was a really good achievement. I’ve been training really hard.”
He added: “I just moved clubs last year and I’m really enjoying swimming. I hope to go to the Paralympics in Tokyo.”
His third title came in the MC 100m Butterfly, and that was even closer. In fact, it was almost a dead-heat, with Sol clinching gold by just one hundreth of a second!
JSAD chairman Paul Patterson was full of praise for Sol’s achievements. “Sol has overcome so many major issues to get to the level he has - a very dedicated young fellow. We really do have some special athletes and by their example, they inspire others.”
You can find out more details of the whole event,
including all the results, by clicking here.
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.
For further details please contact:
Paul Patterson MBE
5, Le Clos des Chenolles
Tel (01534) 872855