Lothian Disability Sport
Annual General Meeting Report 2015/2016
Monday 20th June, 2016
The Lothian Disability Sport (LDS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2015 / 2016 was held at Norton Park Conference Hall, Albion Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5QY on Monday 20th June 2016. This preceded the Annual Awards Ceremony as LDS continue to recognise the considerable achievements of athletes, clubs, coaches and volunteers over the previous twelve months and celebrate the consequent impact these individuals have on disability sport across the Lothian region. LDS are proud to work alongside and support a whole host of talented, dedicated and inspirational individuals and delighted to continue to recognise these achievements.
LDS Chair, Helen Bruce began the evening with the formalities of the evening and continued to look ahead to Rio and recognise the significant achievements of those athletes who have already gained selection from their respective sports for the Paralympics in Brazil later this year. At the time of the AGM, six athletes from the East region had been selected with an additional two athletes being announced since. There have also been other hugely significant achievements over the previous 12 months on the world stage, as the Special Olympic World Games were held in Los Angeles in July / August 2015; six athletes and four coaches were selected from the Lothian region to represent their country in a variety of sports, with a significant level of success achieved. Helen continued to champion the importance of partnership work between LDS and organisations such Scottish Disability Sport, FABB Scotland and Lothian Special Olympics and emphasised her appreciation of the continued support towards the funding for the Disability Sport Coordinator post from the four local authorities across the Lothian region. A full version of the Chair report is attached.
Neal Herbert, the LDS Branch Coordinator, then presented the 2014 / 2015 Sports Review which highlighted the ongoing development of clubs in the region and the considerable work that is being delivered on a consistent basis from a committed band of coaches and volunteers across the region. The review was based on the LDS Strategic Plan’s Priority, Development and Participation sports. Highlights from the previous 12 months include Lothian Disability Badminton Club entering a team to compete against mainstream club players in the Lothian League, undoubtedly showcasing disability sport along the way. Additionally, the excellent work across the region in swimming is evident with the continued rise in the numbers of individuals accessing local opportunities in terms of clubs and events. Events continue to act as a route into more regular activity for athletes and players to become engaged in sport. The numbers accessing the school calendar of events continues to rise as 765 young people from over 40 schools (both mainstream and ASN specific) attending a range of events, highlighting the appetite to access local opportunities in a host of sports. In addition to local events, Lothian were able to enter teams into all but one SDS National event this year, experiencing a significant level of success – one highlight being Alan Gordon claiming the Carpet Bowls Championship for players with a learning disability. A full version of the Sports Review for 2015 / 2016 is attached.
The evening concluded with the LDS Annual Awards, with SDS CEO Gavin MacLeod and multi Paralympic medallist Jim Anderson OBE presenting the awards to the following athletes -
Senior Sports Person: Stephen Clegg – This year saw another swimmer claim the senior award with Stephen being named after some outstanding achievements in the pool over the last 12 months. The East Lothian Swim Team (ELST) athlete has really progressed in the last 18 months and that has culminated in his selection for the Paralympics in Rio later this year. Stephen, a visually impaired swimmer, has worked incredibly hard after his re-introduction to the sport, something ELST Head Coach Bruce O’Halloran recognises stating “The drop (in time) he has made in the last six months is testament to the work he’s put in”. The Scottish Disability Sport Academy Athlete produced some fantastic performances at the recent British Para International Meet in Glasgow and the IPC European Championships in Madeira, claiming a number of personal bests while recording multiple British records to confirm his position as the country’s leading S12 swimmer at the moment.
Young Sports Person and Jim Anderson OBE Bursary: Josh Manson – The Edinburgh based 16 year old has developed rapidly throughout the season and is now an integral part of the Lothian Phoenix under 19 League squad, whom narrowly missing out on a place in the British Wheelchair Basketball Junior League Finals this year. Despite his young age, Josh represents Lothian Phoenix in the senior national league division 3 and division 1 squads and has also been invited along to attend under 23 training camps, experiencing the sport with far older players. Out with playing the sport, Josh has proved a great ambassador for Wheelchair Basketball and disability sport as a whole through work he has done in partnership with Scottish Disability Sport – presenting to head teachers on the value and importance of inclusion young people within the mainstream PE environment. Josh has also presented confidently and enthusiastically on other projects including the East Paralympic promotional video, which will hopefully help inspire other young people to follow in his footsteps.
Club of the Year: Lothian Disability Badminton Club (Lothian League Team) – LDBC are an extremely strong club and took the steps into the mainstream environment for the first time over the last 12 months, entering the Lothian League Division 5. This foray saw ten club members play competitively against their peers from local mainstream clubs, only missing out on promotion at the play off stage – emphasising the strength and depth at the club as all players have progressed through the LDBC player pathway. This is certainly the first time a disability club have entered the Lothian League and highlights the continued development of the club.
The team consisted of players of all ages and disabilities and really did showcase disability sport in a truly positive manner with hard work, determination and enthusiasm highlighting an overall exceptional attitude throughout the fixtures.
Volunteers of the Year: Elma Morrison and Rosie Palmer (Lothian Waves) – Elma and Rosie have been involved with disability swimming for over 20 years, initially when the session was introduced as an extra swimming opportunity at Greys Mill School in the late 1980’s. In the mid 1990’s the session was turned into an informal club called Lothian Waves, before being established as a constituted club in 1999 and Elma and Rosie have been heavily involved throughout, providing considerable knowledge and experience in the water. This support helps facilitate an exceptionally positive learning environment for all children who have accessed opportunities at Grey’s Mill and laterally Lothian Waves and provided the platform for many young people with a disability to access a quality swimming experience. As volunteers, Elma and Rosie have given over 25 years of their life to ensure that children have been given the opportunity to enjoy swimming and the chance to learn how to swim.
Endeavour Award: Alan Gordon (Carpet Bowls) – Alan made history at this year’s recent Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) National Carpet Bowls Championships, being the first Lothian player to claim the top prize for male players with a learning disability – it was also Alan’s first appearance at a National event, demonstrating his development over the last year or so. Alan attends weekly sessions at Musselburgh Sports Centre and has worked closely with Head Coach, Richard Douglas who highlighted “it is clear that Alan enjoys the game of carpet bowls and brings enthusiasm, while he also encourages and helps other players”. The willingness to support other bowlers is evident and plays an important role in Alan’s participation in the game and this friendly nature has helped gain admiration from friends and fellow competitors. Alan has overcome various obstacles to attain the National Championship and this achievement is down to hard work and a significant willingness to learn.
Special Achievement Award: Special Olympic Athletes – This year’s awards also recognised the significant achievement from the six athletes who represented Great Britain at the Special Olympic World Games held in July / August 2015 in Los Angeles. The Games were the world’s largest multi sport event in 2015 with 165 countries sending an incredible 7000 athletes and 2000 coaches and the Olympic spirit was certainly fostered throughout with unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm and teamwork present throughout. The Great British Team consisted of 112 athletes, 5 unified partners, 19 head coaches and 22 coaches and for Lothian to have such a strong representation is testament to the work that is being done by the organisation in the region. In addition to the six athletes, Lothian had 4 head coaches and one unified partner who were selected to lead and support a whole host of athletes, further reinforcing the strong special olympic network in the area. Please find a list of athletes and coaches below –
Name (region) Sport Achievement
Kathleen Inglis (East Lothian) Judo Bronze Medal
Dean Lawrie (East Lothian) Football (11-a-side) Gold Medal
Jack Bell (Edinburgh) Football (unified) Silver Medal
Richard Cooke (Edinburgh) Ten Pin Bowling Three Bronze Medals
Colin Robertson (West Lothian) Bocce Gold Medal
Michelle Moran (Midlothian) Swimming Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals
Yvonne Anderson Swimming
Jo Imrie Judo
Elaine McKenna Football (11-a-side)
Jamie MacDonald Golf
Joseph Van’t Hoff Unified Partner (Football)