Update from Joanne Cholerton CEO UK Deaf Sport – December 2022

BSL translation

It’s been a very busy first 3 months at UK Deaf Sport (UKDS). I have enjoyed meeting with over 35 of our key partners and our Board and Advisory Group members to listen to what you want from UKDS in the next 1, 3 and 5 years to feed into our new operational plans. These plans will be available in the new year along with impact measures so we can assess how well we are doing in meeting our vision and mission.

We recently advertised and interviewed for four new posts funded by Sport England System Partner funding. We have successful candidates for our Business Development Manager, Governance and Insight Manager and Marketing and Communications Officer and are holding another round of interviews for the Partnership Manager role. I look forward to announcing our successful candidates and introducing you to them as they come on board over the coming weeks.

There is a lot happening at the moment!  Firstly, we have reviewed and refreshed our Athlete Advisory Group and are recruiting for new members and a new member for our Relations Advisory Group. We are also currently looking for support from an experienced consultant/company to detail the full ecosystem for deaf sport in Great Britain showing talent and performance pathways from grassroots through to elite level and the Deaflympics and an estimate of the funding required to implement the pathways and send a GB team to the Deaflympics. If you think you can help us with this, please take a look at the specification on our website and submit a proposal by 2nd January 2023.

Following Craig Crowley’s retirement from UK Deaf Sport, we have a new Honorary President, Jodie Ounsley, starting in the new year. I want to thank Craig Crowley for the support he has given to UKDS over the last 19 years. He has tirelessly championed deaf sport and been truly influential in putting our deaf athletes on the world map. I am delighted that Jodie is going to be our new Honorary President. As a former Deaflympian and the first deaf female professional rugby player to play for an international rugby sevens team, I have no doubt that she will inspire more deaf people to get active and involved in sport and physical activity and support UK Deaf Sport to get more deaf athletes on the world stage. I am looking forward to what we can achieve together.

Talking of working together, it has been inspirational to have met with so many of our deaf sport governing bodies over the last few months and meet with all of the Home Nations both individually and together, to see how we might all be able to work better together. It has also been useful to catch up with our members to see how we can refresh and improve our membership offer.

We are looking for some new commercial partnerships and sponsorship opportunities either in relation to the DeaflympicsGB Team or UKDS in general. If you would like to partner with us, please get in touch.

Finally, I want to thank you all for being so welcoming. I am always interested in your views on how we can take things forward here at UKDS so please feel free to contact me with your ideas or if I have not got round to meeting you yet. I hope you enjoy the holiday period and wish you all a very happy and healthy 2023.

Joanne Cholerton
CEO UK Deaf Sport

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