Director and Chair Update
As many of you will be aware I am due to go on maternity leave on the 17th of August. In the interim, Jane Kracke will taking on the Director position with the support of Ben Hollands as Strategic Lead. I know Jane, Ben and the rest of the team will continue to deliver the outstanding level of service you are used to receiving from SASSOT.
Jude Taylor, Director
Chairs reflections on Staffordshire Level 3 School Games – 29 July 2018
This was my first visit as Chair of Sport across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, to the annual School Games. Prior to the games, I was impressed by the communication between the planning team and the various schools participating in the event. The pre-planning and preparation was evident of excellent cooperation between the various parties involved, of an exciting event to come. From the first moment when my wife and I drove through the campus of Keele University we were impressed. For example, car parking (always a problem) was well managed and controlled. Clearly, even at this early stage, the impression we were given indicated a well thought through, professionally managed event. We were not to be disappointed! Excellence was being demonstrated to participants, spectators and VIPs alike. There is no doubt in my mind, that the organising committee deserve all our plaudits, so well done to all of them.
The venue was simply perfect. The various locations from the sports hall to the AstroTurf, to the fields, provided a well-maintained range of surfaces which were most appropriate for the various events. Our thanks must go to the Keele University maintenance staff who had clearly worked very hard prior to the event. Another excellent feature of the day was the specially constructed stage which hosted the opening event and other displays. An outstanding feature was the way in which it was possible to walk around the different activities and acquire a good understanding of what was involved. The planning and the thought behind this were superb, so my congratulations once again, go to the organising committee.
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent can be proud of its sporting heritage and this was reflected in the wide range of carefully selected events for the day. It was wonderful to see adapted activities for all levels of participation and the enthusiasm with which the participants engaged with physical activity and sport. This is clearly credit to the schools, teachers, parents and staff involved and most especially to the young people for their enthusiastic participation. As a VIP, it was delightful to be taken on a tour of the events by such a wonderful group of ambassadors who clearly knew their stuff and were able to explain what was actually going on. It was evident that the ambassadors had been very well briefed and prepared for the event; once again, this is indicative of excellent preparation. My thanks go to them and I wish them well for the future.
I was also fortunate enough to be able to visit the media room which struck me as a cross between a radio broadcasting and media hub. The students operating this were both knowledgeable and enthusiastic and have great careers ahead of them, I am sure, should they wish to enter this field.
I was extremely impressed with the approach taken by the SASSOT team of staff. It was a delight to see them working together in such a cohesive and efficient manner. They represented all that is good about team work and I want to take this opportunity to thank them formally and recognise the contribution, energy and enthusiasm they are making to the development of sport and physical activity across our region. The attention to detail was impressive, particularly the way in which they had through the implications of the weather conditions. It would be remiss of me not to mention all of the staff involved around the campus, transporting teams and managing large groups of young people. I know from experience how challenging this can be on a hot, summer’s day, so well done to them.
On behalf of the Board of SASSOT, I would like to thank all those involved for what can only be described as a superb day. I was fortunate enough to meet many of the VIPs and an event like this helps to form bonds and raise the profile and awareness across our region. It was encouraging to receive such positive feedback from many of the VIPs and I look forward to working with them in the future.
Most of all, I think we should recognise the talent on show, both from those who performed on stage, the guest speakers for their inspirational approach and delivery, and of course, all the fantastic participants.
Well done to all.
Malcolm R Armstrong, Chair of the Board