Month: December 2016

April 22, 2013

Minutes of the one hundred and thirty fourth meeting of the management committee of Scottish Disability Sport held on Monday 22nd April 2013 at sportscotland, Caledonia House, South Gyle, Edinburgh  EH12 9DQ at 1600 hours.


Gordon McCormack, Chair
Dave Rhoney, Director
Janice Eaglesham, Director
Gavin Macleod, CEO
Claire Morrison, Pathways Manager
Caroline Lyon, Company Secretary


Catherine Goodfellow, Vice Chair
Sandra Proudfoot, Director
Eileen Ramsay, Director
Gerry Milne, Director
Anna Tizzard, Director
Jo Bell, sportscotland Partnership Manager

Welcome and Apologies

Conflicts of Interest

No conflicts of interest were given.

Minutes of meeting held on 11th March 2013

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

Matters Arising

The HR sub committee was to meet as a matter of urgency.  Terms of Reference had been updated and passed to the Performance Manager.  Sub group members were to come back to the June meeting – as yet none had responded.

sportscotland update

The update was given by the CEO.  An email had been sent regarding the proposed change of Partnership Manager covering the disappointing lack of consultation and the need for continuity, together with the fact that the current Partnership Manager was doing such a good job.  The Chair had had a conversation with Jacqui Lynn and understood the change would not take place quickly, the current Partnership Manager remaining in place for 6-8 months.  The Chair had indicated that SDS wanted stability and the professional support currently being given by the Partnership Manager was very professional.

The current High Performance Manager, Craig Faill, was also changing.  The CEO had strongly protested about the change.

The investment agreement had been signed and returned to sportscotland.  A paper was prepared for the trustees of the endowment fund but no response had yet been received.


Chairman’s Report

No report was given.

CEO Report/Operational Plan 2013-2013 Update

The red areas indicated the previous Participation Manager’s remit.  SDS was aware that Branch MORs were not being pushed forward due to availability of staff.  Heather Lowden was working with Dumfries & Galloway, Gavin Macleod working with Perth & Kinross.  The new posts will have an impact on this.

The Professional Officers Group met last week but not with Active Schools.

Six international competitions would have taken place with the sixth being the bowls test match.

34 out of a proposed 38 athletes are on World Class Podium, Development and Talent programmes.  Expected drop in the number of athletes on programmes and a number of sports have not yet announced who is on their programme.

Education & Training: most areas were green.

Governance & Infrastructure: the Participation Manager had started an action plan but this required to be finished.  Some policies had been reviewed but not completed.  The review needs timelines as an audit is coming up.  Liz Turner had been approached to join the Board but had declined.  There was a need to identify potential Board members.

Marketing & Communications: the plan was almost complete.

Website: the content is reliant on funds, which are not available at present.

Dave Rhoney mentioned that good work was being carried out by the staff and was well done under the circumstances.  There were understandable reasons for some of the targets not to be reached.

The two new posts would be focusing on Branches and Child Protection.

Sub Groups


The agenda should be changed to match the sub groups.

Development Sports

Coaching & Education

The sub group had not met since the last Board meeting.



The two Opportunities posts were closing on the coming Wednesday.

The Regional Tayside & Fife post was ongoing.  The Pathways Manager had again met with regional partners and all were happy to support the introduction of the post.  She had also met today with Euan Lowe and it was agreed there was no need for an audit.  A timeline is being pulled together and the post should be in place in late summer.

Agreement had been reached to advertise the full time East post internally.  The CEO was meeting Lothian partners on 29th April regarding the existing post.

The situation in Grampian would change in 3-4 weeks.  The Aberdeen post has been made redundant and interviews held due to restructuring in Sport Aberdeen.  The posts being interviewed were Club and Community Development and Inclusion.  After interviews the previous week Andrinne Craig had been appointed to the Inclusion post.  The CEO and Pathways Manager had met with partners prior to the interviews and had received no indication as to intentions regarding the partnership, which finishes at the end of May.  A meeting would be held on 15th May to look forward.  The impact could include repercussions on Claire McDonald’s post which ends on 30th April.  A decision could not be taken at the moment so the Aberdeenshire post was given a three month extension for the time being.

The Chair, CEO, Pathways Manager and Coaching & Education Manager were reviewing the staff structure and line management.  There may be a need to look at another promoted post.

A meeting was being held on the coming Friday between the CEO and Matt Hammond of GB Boccia to negotiate re the Pathways Manager position.  In the shorter term Claire Morrison will continue working in the SDS office, receiving admin support from SDS and keeping focus on some regional matters, e.g. Tayside & Fife, Grampian and handover.  She will also continue supporting the Scottish Boccia programme.

Partners’ Update

No meetings had been held.

The BPA NPC meeting would be held on 1st May and the CEO would be attending.  Alan Dickson (formerly of Capability Scotland) was standing for election against Philip Craven and had contacted SDS to ask for confirmation from the home country.  This has been agreed as it was not an endorsement.

CPISRA were committed to timescales to move to the new international federation and this would be in place by January 2014.  A steering group was overseeing the transition.  The key issue was membership, with Scotland wanting to retain membership.  There is a strong position re Boccia as Scotland currently competes internationally.  No indication had been given by GB.

A Mission 2014 meeting had been held by Commonwealth Games Scotland before Easter which was uneventful.  The selection policy had been circulated by the Performance Manager.  The accessibility report on Kelvingrove had been forwarded to the Chair.  The CEO had spoken about this to John Gheel and the government and would send the report on after consultation with the Glasgow Roads Department.  The selection policies were to be ratified by the Board.

50th Anniversary History

Comments were invited from Board members and overall feedback was positive.  The time and effort on Richard Brickley’s part were acknowledged.  The question of ownership was raised as SDS had no licence to make any changes.  It was suggested that factual errors be corrected and a paragraph included to indicate that Richard Brickley had been commissioned to write the work by the Board.  Printing had been investigated and would cost a minimum of £3,500.  The Marketing & Communications Manager had been asked for feedback regarding using the book as a sponsorship opportunity, but there was a danger of it becoming dated.  Agreement was reached in principle to the book being commissioned.



The PD swimming gala had been held on the previous Saturday.  There were good entry figures and some good swims with 30-40 attending.  8 Scottish Swimming officials had attended and this was a great appreciated.

The football 5-a-sides were held on the previous Wednesday with 48 teams attending.

The LD swimming gala was taking place on 26th May.


The GB squad for the European Boccia Championships had been announced, with 5 out of 11 players Scottish.  The target had been 30%.

The Celtic Cup (Boccia) would be held on 1st and 2nd June in Dublin against Wales and Ireland, but with a possibility of Wales not attending.  In this case it was intended to participate in training matches.

Cheshire International (Boccia) – Wigan.

The Czech Open was to be held on 1st/2nd June.  GB Boccia were paying for Jamie McCowan to attending and Kieran Steer was representing Scotland but with GB Boccia paying.

Michael Kerr had attended the European Wheelchair Rugby Club Championships. GB are currently ranked 7th but finishing 4th.  Europeans were to be held in August and Michael was hopeful of making the squad.

Sammi Kinghorn had been classified as T53 in Dubai. Sami and Meggan Dawson Farrell had done well, gaining bronze medals.

Owen Miller and Robert Ferroll were attending the INAS Championships in June.

Janice Eaglesham proposed that a small update on the 13 key sports be given every second meeting.  The Performance Manager should be invited to the June meeting.

The Under 19s LD football squad had won the Home Nations for the first time.  All players but 2 had come through the schools programme.

Table tennis players had attended the Hungarian Open and also the DSEs in Crewe.

2 swimmers had qualified for the Deaflympics, Danielle Joyce and Lucy Walkup.

Gordon Reid had won the Tennis Player of the Year.

Sammi Kinghorn had been voted Young Scot Award for Sport.  This has been won by a Scot for the last three years.

Drumchapel Table Tennis Club had posted video clips on line of Martin Perry with members of the Royal Family.  The CEO had also attended a conference in Dundee with Martin where he delivered an excellent speech.


Dave Rhoney suggested that the Board should try to retain Claire Morrison’s expertise by asking her to become a member.  Future Board representation would go on the agenda and the CEO would discuss with Matt Hammond to see if he was comfortable with this.  Claire indicated she would be keen to continue her involvement.

Early warnings for the AGM had been sent out and local authority funding letters.  The CEO suggested David McCrae as speaker.

Date of Next Meeting

10th June 2013

Gemma Lumsdaine coaching young players

Can Coach, Will Coach

Scottish Disability Sport, in conjunction with Sports Coach UK, sportscotland, and various Scottish governing bodies, are working to provide mentoring opportunities to support young people transition from playing to coaching sport.

The Inclusive Coach programme is currently helping two young people, Gemma Lumsdaine and Lucy Walkup, to realise their potential in a coaching capacity.

For greater insight, please see the sportscotland Sport First article:

Sammi Kinghorn

Wheelchair Racing Workshop

scottishathletics and Scottish Disability Sport are hosting a basic racing chair maintenance workshop led by Bromakin Wheelchairs and open wheelchair racing training session led by Jenni Banks, Senior Institute Wheelchair Racing Coach, British Athletics and Ian Mirfin, Scottish Athletics Paralympic Lead at Grangemouth Stadium on 11th February 2017.

Bromakin will hold a half day session looking at basic maintenance and athletes, parents, coaches and other interested parties are welcome to attend. If any athlete wishes to be measured for a race chair or anyone has any maintenance issues or requires to purchase spare parts, please email in advance of the workshop.

Following the workshop will be an open training session for athletes that coaches are welcome to participate in.
The day will run in parallel with the SA/SDS squad session scheduled for that day and timings are 11am-4pm. There is no charge for attending on the day and please bring a packed lunch with you.

If you are interested in attending please contact Ian Mirfin on

Season’s Greetings

The offices of Scottish Disability Sport will be closed from Friday 23 December until Wednesday 4 January 2017 for the festive break. Messages will be dealt with by staff on their return to work.

Everyone at Scottish Disability Sport would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, and we look forward to working closely with you all in 2017.

Children 1st

Safeguarding MOR

SDS has achieved 100% across all 8 Safeguarding Minimum Operating Requirements (MOR’s). All Scottish Governing Bodies of sport are required by Children 1st and sportscotland to achieve these MOR’s to ensure they are compliant across all area of safeguarding and child protection. This in turn makes sure that all policies and procedures are up to date and quality assured. For more information on Scottish Disability Sport safeguarding policies and procedures please see the following link…


Disability Sport Fife logo

Fife Junior Cross Country Athletes Excel

The second round of the East Series of Cross Country races was held at Peffermill in Edinburgh and for the second time this year a significant number of junior Fife athletes with additional support needs finished in first position in their respective year groups. The East Series of races are organised by scottishathletics and Scottish Disability Sport and Round 3 will come to Fife on Thursday 2nd February 2017 when the event will be organised by Disability Sport Fife and Fife Athletic Club.

The only Fife pupils competing in the Primary races were from Rimbleton Primary in Glenrothes. Fife Secondary Schools were represented by Bell Baxter HS, Balwearie HS, Lochgelly HS and Woodmill HS.

The following Rimbleton Primary pupils finished first in their Primary year groups. Jayden McLellan (P3), Hayden Taylor (P4), Luke McGurk (P5) and Tia Cheney (P6). All pupils ran over the 1K course with Luke recording the fastest time of the Fife athletes of 8.08.

Four Fife Secondary girls topped their year groups over 1K and they were Sophie Coughlin Bell Baxter HS (S1), Amy Dignan Lochgelly HS (S2), Billie Lowe Balwearie HS (S3) and Taylor McDowall Balwearie HS (S6). Sophie’s time of 6.21 was the fastest recorded 1K time by a girl on the day and Billie had the third fastest overall time in the same event.

In the equivalent 1K boys races Greg Nicol Balwearie HS (S1), Edwin Barron Woodmill HS (S2), Arran Howe Bell Baxter HS (S4) and Cameron Healy Balwearie HS (S6) led the way in their year group. Arran had the second fastest overall time of 4.51, finishing only three seconds behind the race winner.

Louise and Michelle Harley from Lochgelly HS finished first and second in the girls 2K race with Louise crossing the line first in 15.36 only one second ahead off her sister. In the boys 2K race Mathew Blair from Woodmill HS finished second overall in 10.45 and was first athlete home in the S5 race.

45 athletes in total from Fife participated in Round 2 of the East Series. Well done to all concerned. Apart from Round 3 at the Beveridge Park in February, there will be Round 4 at Peffermill, followed by the Scottish Championships in Glasgow and the Fife Championships at the Beveridge Park. Cross country running in Fife is growing in popularity each year.

Richard Brickley MBE
President,  Disability Sport Fife

Karen Lewis Archer racing

Remembering Karen Lewis Archer

Scottish Disability Sport is saddened to hear of the passing of the Association’s first National Development Officer and Paralympic Wheelchair Racer, Karen Lewis Archer on Wednesday 14th December aged 42. Karen was a pioneer and role model who pushed the boundaries and led the way for other disabled people to compete and work in sport.

Karen was born in Carluke in South Lanarkshire and was encouraged to be active from an early age. She attended Carluke High School and very quickly it was identified that she had an aptitude for sport.  Karen, whose mother was a swimming coach at Clyde Valley Beavers encourage her to join the club. As a junior swimmer, Karen excelled as a member of the Scottish junior swim team and quickly became an accomplished swimmer headed for a promising international career before fate intervened and instead pushed her towards the athletics track.

In 1989 she was selected to swim at the World Youth Games in Miami where she won a gold medal in the 50m breaststroke. While there, the track relay team was looking for someone to fill in and turned to Karen. Not only did Karen rise to the challenge but she won a second gold medal in the relay.

On her return to Scotland she promptly joined Red Star Athletic Club in Glasgow where she met her coach Ian Mirfin and in her words “it all spiralled from there.”

She was selected for the Great Britain team to compete at the World Championships in Birmingham in winning T52 gold in the 400m, silver in the 800m and bronze in the 1500m.

She was selected for both the Sydney and Athens Summer Paralympic Games but just prior to Sydney she developed serious arm and wrist problems. She was offered the option of an operation or racing with a strapped and painful wrist. Not wanting to miss out on the Paralympic dream, she chose the latter. Despite her injury she still managed fourth place finishes in both the 100m and 400m. In Athens she again missed out on the medals in the 200m and 400m.

In 2000, Karen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Leisure Management and in 2007 gained a Master of Science in Sports Management from Northumbria University.

As Scottish Disability Sports National Development Officer, she was a well known and respected colleague with a passion for inclusion. She worked hard to support the flourishing Branch infrastructure across Scotland and the established national events programme. Karen was most recently employed as Sport Development Officer with North Tyneside Council, a post she had held since 2004.

In 2003 Karen married Wayne, who she met through mutual friends and in 2005 their son Dylan was born followed by a daughter, Felicity in 2014.

Karen was also an inspirational speaker and through her brain child programme, ‘Gold Rush’, a programme of inspirational workshops and seminars which she delivered to schools, community groups and businesses drawing on her experiences as a world-class athlete. Karen had also written her first book for children featuring a young and equally plucky disabled heroine called Kellie Khan-do.

As well as being arguably Scotland’s greatest ever female wheelchair track athlete, Karen was also a role model and champion for disabled people. She had a determination and spirit to achieve in everything that she did along with a wicked sense of humour that was infectious. She will be sadly missed.


Karen’s sporting achievements

1989 Joined Red Star Athletics Club.

1989 World Youth Games 50m gold Breaststroke.

1997 1st International GB selection, Irish National Championships.

1998 IPC World Championships T52 400m gold, 800m silver & 1500m bronze.

2000 Summer Paralympic Games 4th in the T52 100m & 400m.

2001 IPC European Championship T52100m gold, 200m gold & 400m silver.

2002 IPC World Championship T52 200m bronze.

2003 IPC European Championships T52 400m gold, 100m silver & 200m silver

2004 Summer Paralympic Games 7th and 9th in the T52 200m & 400m.


Alan Gray – YPSP Blog December 2016

As a member of the Lothian Disability Sport committee, I helped to deliver the SDS (non BISFed) Boccia Open which was held at the Napier University Engage Sports Complex.

For those unfamiliar with the sport of boccia, it is similar to that of bowls and the word boccia itself is derived from the Latin word bottia meaning ball. Originally, it was a sport played by individuals with cerebral palsy but has now been widened to include other disabilities at some non BISFed events such as this one in Lothian. BISFed is the governing body for boccia and also manages the classification system used for international competition. More information can be found here:

This particular event brought entrants from across Britain which really improved the level of competition and saw up to 60 participants compete. The Open incorporated both those with physical and learning disabilities as the event was categorised. It was great to see so many young people really expressing themselves and enjoying the competition. As a venue for accessibility I was extremely impressed as I had never been before but for future events in the Lothian region I would highly recommend it.

I was also involved in managing the social media pages for SDS at the Central Parasport Day held at Grangemouth in October. The event was a huge success with a wide range of sports being delivered such as swimming, boccia and football, to name just a few.

There were over 60 young people at the event which was more than had attended in previous years and it was really good to see several school pupils supporting the event as volunteers on the back of attending Senior Pupils Disability Inclusion Training and showing so much enthusiasm.

That was the main thing I took away from the event – that from the senior pupils attending the Inclusion Training they were all keen to learn more and gain an insight into disability sport first hand. Richard Brickley MBE also delivered a talk to some of the parents present and I believe some new young talent was identified. I came away from the day feeling so positive as I saw myself in many of the young kids just loving making new friends and experiencing sport for the first time.  I thought it was also a really nice touch that two of our Commonwealth Games para athletes delivered a Q & A session which definitely inspired a few youngsters.

Apart from volunteering, I also follow the Scotland football team passionately around the world with 2016 seeing me visit Malta, Luxembourg, France, Prague and Slovakia. This month however it was slightly closer to home and a short visit to London.

The accessibility in London proved interesting and I had a narrow escape on an escalator but I survived. I would not hurry back but what the trip did do was inspire me to start a general travel blog for disabled people. This would include the do’s and don’ts in terms of accessibility in resorts, restaurants, airports and generally negotiating local areas. I will keep you posted if I get this idea off the ground.

Tri 4 Tokyo poster featuring Alison Patrick and Hazel Smith

Tri4Tokyo: British Triathlon’s Paralympic Talent Identification Campaign

Tri4Tokyo is British Triathlon’s Talent Identification programme aimed at finding talented athletes in the next two years who have the potential to become medallists at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and beyond.

Paratriathlon made its Paralympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016.  The sport is competed over the Sprint Triathlon distance of:

  • 750m Open Water Swim
  • 20km Bike
  • 5km Run/Push

It is a non-drafting format of the sport.

British Triathlon will run a series of events over the next two years as part of the campaign.  Each event will look to assess athletes across the range of disciplines.  We encourage athletes with an impairment from any sporting background to come along and see if they have the potential to be successful, even if they have no, or limited, experience in at least one of the disciplines.  The British team in Rio was made up of athletes who came from a wide variety of sporting backgrounds including swimming, athletics, football, cycling, rugby, surf lifesaving and rowing.

For more information see the British Triathlon website here.

Awards for All Scotland - Lottery Funded

Para Sports Festivals and Engagements Days

In partnership with Scottish Governing Bodies and other partners, SDS has provided a wide range of opportunities for children, young people and adults with physical and sensory impairments to try a variety of sports. In a co-ordinated approach, five Para Sports Festivals and four National Engagement Days have taken place throughout Scotland. SDS Regional Managers follow up with participants attending the festivals to identify the next steps into their chosen sport.

Para Sport Festivals

Para sports events have taken place in five regions across Scotland with the aim of engaging children and young people with physical and sensory impairments in sport and identifying individuals with the potential to progress in the sporting pathway of their choice. For many, these sporting events offered by national sporting experts are their first introduction to the sport.

As well as offering a sporting avenue, forming friendships and meeting other people with the same impairments as themselves is an often by-product of the event.

Partnerships have been formed with local authorities, trusts, colleges and universities to plan, organise and provide facilities. Scottish Governing Bodies have supported the delivery of the sport specific sessions and partnerships within education and Active School Teams have resulted in participants being supported to attend on the day.

scottishathletics, Scottish FA, Scottish Swimming, JudoScotland, Table Tennis Scotland, Scottish Rowing, Scottish Cycling, Tennis Scotland, basketballscotland and Boccia Scotland have all contributed to the success of the para-sport events this year.  For this, we thank them and look forward to working with them again next year.

Following the event, Scottish Disability Sport Regional Managers follow up with participants to provide further information and support to access an appropriate sporting pathway in their local area to progress in the pathway and realize their sporting potential.

More information on para sports festival can be found by using the links below:

Awards for All – National Engagement Days

Thanks to Awards for All funding, SDS and partners of the National Visual Impairment Sports Group offered two exclusive festivals to people with visual impairments. In addition to these, a Wheelchair Extravaganza and Para Water Sport and Para-Cycling Events took place. 157 people participated in these unique opportunities with their families.

A range of water sports, cycling, swimming and wheelchair sports were on the menu at the engagement days for all to try.

Scottish Disability Sport would like to thank their many partners who provided their expertise in so many different ways in 2016. We look forward to working with you in 2017!

If you or anyone you know has a disability and would like to get engaged in sport please contact Scottish Disability Sport on 0131 317 1130 or email