Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled
Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled


Who fancies a water sport treat?



Are you interested in taking part in a superb water sport event?

The Heritage Paddle Race, which was due to take place again on Saturday, 8th of June, with our very own Melissa Alves using one of the two Healing Waves Adaptive Boards. Would you like to join her?


(The original race was postponed because of the terrible weather, but we will let you know a new date as soon as possible.)

Healing Waves is an organisation enabling people to access the ocean in a safe way, enabling them to safely participate in water sport activities.

You can see above what an adaptive board looks like. The race is just under five miles long, and you would be paddling with Ben France, who is a good paddler. The race takes between 70 and 90 minutes, depending on conditions.


If you are interested, contact either Melissa on Facebook, or email and we'll make sure Melissa gets the message. But hurry, time is short!




Jersey MENCAP try basketball

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 picks up another top award

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.” 

Melissa, with Simon le Balastier (L) and Guy Gilson (R) Melissa, with Simon le Balastier (L) and Guy Gilson (R)

Alex Buesnel announces retirement



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.




Another disability award for Alex


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.



New name and faces for Jersey DIPS - and volunteer opportunities

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:

Channel Island Sports Awards: "Hero" award for Alex Buesnel - Yana Vibert is coach runner-up

Alex and Yana with Richard Whitehead MBE Alex and Yana with Richard Whitehead MBE

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!" 





Many people added their congratulations to Alex on social media.

Three reach "Pride of Jersey" finals

Alex Buesnel, Yana Vibert and Alex Hilton with their finalist awards at St. John's Manor Alex Buesnel, Yana Vibert and Alex Hilton with their finalist awards at St. John's Manor

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.


Jeannine Carey Jeannine Carey

“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!”

Alex Hilton Alex Hilton

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."

Yana Vibert Yana Vibert

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.”

Alex Buesnel Alex Buesnel


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.”


Triple gold for swimmer Sol

Sol Bressat Sol Bressat

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.


Another top award for Alex Hilton

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.

Alex celebrating with his LD football team-mates at training Alex celebrating with his LD football team-mates at training
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