Partnerships mean an enormous amount to Disability Sport Fife (DSF). Major local partners are Fife Council, the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust and inclusive sports clubs across Fife. National partners are Scottish Disability Sport, sportscotland and several of Scotland’s Governing Bodies of Sport. DSF is thrilled to be working with Spirit of 2012 and the UK consortium that is part of the Go Out and Get Active (GOGA) programme. DSF is dependent on funding partners such as the Association of Rotary Clubs in Fife, the Russell Hogg Trust, the Order of St John in Fife, the Russell Hogg Trust, the Bill Pullar Trust and the many families and friends of DSF who regularly fundraise on our behalf.
Partnerships are the backbone of so much of what we do. One weekly DSF session depends so much on a range of partners. The Fife Sports and Leisure Trust invariably provides the indoor, outdoor or aquatics facility. The lead DSF coach is supported by DSF volunteers, peer mentors, family members or significant others. Sometimes essential support is provided by staff from Education Services, Health and Social Care or the voluntary sector. DSF rarely if ever goes it alone and in fact goes out of its way to encourage young people to give up some time and support the programme.
Partnerships with families are worthy of special mention and often on this platform DSF has highlighted exceptional examples of partnership working. Jonny Brown from Thornton has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user. Jonny has been involved with DSF since he was a Fife Primary School pupil. Initially Jonny played basketball, swam and was involved in some throwing activities. Jonny always demonstrated promise as an athlete but only when his father’s work situation changed was he able to commit to throwing specifically and over the past couple of years he has improved considerably. Thanks to support from Scottish Disability Sport and Education Scotland, DSF was able to secure a racing chair for Jonny and his athletics options changed overnight. In addition to athletics Jonny is committed to racquet sports and independently he travels to the gym to train to compete.
As all this was going on with Jonny, father David embarked on the coaching pathway with Scottish Athletics through DSF. David is now the lead volunteer throws coach for the DSF physically disabled throws squad. David works with seated and standing throwers and is determined to grow the Fife squad and identify throwers from Fife with podium potential. Already a number are showing promise and it is only a matter of time before individuals shine like Michel Mellon from Cardenden and Pitreavie AC who is a 40 metre plus javelin thrower. There is nothing better than a partnership involving child and parent where both develop simultaneously within a sport. At the 2016 Awards evening both were recognised for the significant role they are now playing within Disability Sport Fife.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife