There has been a period of consolidation at Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (SASSOT) since my last newsletter. Our work has been progressing in both the place-based-activity and also meeting the needs of the Service Level Agreements between ourselves and our partners. This work is at the heart of everything we do and it is a credit to all the staff that so much activity takes place.
The staff team have certainly experienced many changes since I took over as Chair of the Board about 18 months ago, and there will be more changes to come. Nothing stays the same in the world of physical activity and sport. The key changes are around the building and strengthening of partnership activity as there is now national recognition that no one sector can bring about the behaviour changes that are needed to help us become a more active nation. We at SASSOT have an important brokering and communication role to play in this approach which is why I am so pleased with the development of our new marketing and communications strategy. I want to go on record to thank the staff so skilfully led by Naomi Bird who, with support from some Board members, have worked hard on our new strategy.
Other staff changes can be anticipated in the near future as we welcome back our Director, Jude Taylor, from maternity leave. I want to go on record to thank Jane Kracke and Ben Hollands who have done an outstanding job during some challenging moments whilst Jude has been away. The SASSOT Board is also considering and planning its long-term sustainability and is currently undertaking a review of its development strategy for the next five plus years. I am indebted to colleagues on the Board for all their support and their considered views together with the voluntary commitment they make to the work of SASSOT. More news on that after the Board meeting in July.
We can now look forward to The Ironman event and The School Games; both a testament to level of commitment of many people across our sub-region. It great to see so many people involved and the organising groups behind these events must find it very satisfying. I want to wish all participants the best of luck and hope that we get good weather. The School Games last year was fabulous with wall to wall sunshine … not sure we will get that again!
In the meantime I want to thank all those of you who work with us so positively to make difference to people’s lives and I look forward with confidence to a brilliant summer of activity.
Malcolm R Armstrong, Chair of the Board