Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled
A highly respected and innovative Jersey oganisation that is recognised word-wide as setting the trend in disability sport.
The Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled was formed in 1985 with the clear aim to encourage and support local disabled people wishing to take part in any kind of sporting activity. The remit of the Association remains very wide. They have no restrictions of disability or age, provided the activity chosen by an individual is safe.
From the very humble beginnings, JSAD has grown into a large and complex organisation offering a very wide variety of sports to existing and new members at both participatory and competitive levels.
The JSAD Football Team
Fun and participation
The JSAD was the brainchild of Paul Patterson, who, with an incredibly motivated and hard-working team, has brought the organisation to the level that makes others around the world look up and take an awful lot of notice.
For his achievements, Paul was awarded Jersey's Community Worker of the Year 2003. Then, barely a year later, came the news that Paul had been awarded the M.B.E. in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to disability sport in Jersey.
One of the key philosophies that makes JSAD work is that sport is for all, should be fun and participation at any standard is the main focus. Competition is naturally encouraged and JSAD can boast no less than two Special Olympic World Games Champions, and a host of National titles including two in wheelchair tennis.
In 1991 JSAD decided to host its first Disability Games in Jersey. Using exactly the same philosophy of participation, the Games have become a major date in the local and national sports diaries.
It now attracts world standard athletes, which is a wonderful mix of competition to a very high standard, and of course their corner stone of participation.
The audience at the 2003 games
JSAD is now widely looked at nationally and even internationally as the trend setters in disability sport. Formally recognised in 2002 as a National Centre of Excellence in Pan Disability Sports Administration by Disability Sport England, the Association was also short listed to the last 255 organisations from an initial list of 1600 for the first awards under the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Community Service honours.
JSAD is also very committed to participating and competing away from Jersey. Over time, squads have been sent to England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Guernsey, The Isle of Wight, the Isle of Man, Gotland, France, Luxembourg, Orkney, Malta and the United States of America and an extensive set of international contacts has been established which can only further improve the options for the increasingly large local membership.
Pure human spirit
JSAD is a registered charity and is staffed entirely by volunteers, many of which are themselves disabled. It is the level of commitment of this team that keeps JSAD on the road. Its team work and organisation is regularly remarked upon, often with envy, by visiting teams.
Theresa Coughlan, JSAD Sports Personality 2003
But the members are the main focus of the organisation. It's probably hard to explain, unless you are able to attend one of their events, the feeling of fun and enjoyment, pure human spirit and sport played for the sake of sport, not monetary profit, that makes these events so special.
All who take part seem to get wrapped up in an invisible support blanket and everyone supports and encourages each other to do well. A very unique concept, you may think, in modern sport, particularly where it seems to be to win at any cost. That is not the JSAD!
The benefit of sport to the members, the JSAD will tell you, can also be shown to have far wider implications in a positive way. Self confidence, a sense of achievement, pride, a feeling of belonging and discipline are all words that come to mind.
If you are viewing this from overseas, why not come to the next games? Only one rule, say the JSAD – you must have fun. Life is too short not to!
last updated: 08/02/2008 at 11:02
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Started in 1985, the JSAD is now a world leader in setting trends in disability sport.
Its guide and mentor, Paul Patterson was awarded the MBE for his services to disability sport in Jersey.
The latest Disability Sport news from the BBC Sport website.