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 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.
There's a wonderful chance for JSAD members to have a go at the sport of Triathlon this June.
The Jersey Triathlon Club is holding its annual introductory event, which is designed to encourage Islanders to try the sport for the first time in a fun and supportive environment.
This year, they are offering some places to members of the JSAD. Already, three athletes with disabilities have signed up, two of them JSAD members.
The event consists of a 400 metre swim, followed by a 10km cycle ride, and it ends with a 2.5km run. It takes place at St. Catherines, on Sunday 3rd June 2018.
And the JSAD has been appointed as the chosen charity for the event this year, which, if last year is anything to go by, could raise the club around £1,000!
A total of 120 people are expected to take part, and it's thought that the slowest time will be around 90 minutes.
For more information on the Jersey Triathlon Club, click here.
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, at the annual 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.
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.
For further details please contact:
Paul Patterson MBE