President's monthly blog

posted Feb 20, 2017, 7:18 PM by Pam Hyden
Welcome everyone to what looks like being a busy year for goalball in Australia. I hope everyone had a relaxing and safe festive season.
I plan to write this each month to provide information as to what is happening in goalball throughout Australia - if anyone has any news at any time please let me know so I can include it in this blog. The aim is to have this site as the main information place for people to gain information as required. As those involved are volunteers it would be appreciated if there is any support out there to assist us in any way.

The year has already started with goalball camps being had and being planned and I feel this is a carry over from the Belles participating in Rio in September 2016. Despite all the initial issues, they went, they played well and they were successful to many people for participating. Well done to the women who went, and to Peter Corr and Robbie Vogt for coaching them. Whilst Tokyo 2020 is four years away, there are lots of programs to work on beforehand if Australia is to be able to participate again. I know that GA will be doing everything they can to support the programs along the way.

I am very happy to announce that GA now has four squads and four coaches.  Greg Scott from QLD is heading up the 'Storm' (mens) with Sam Morgan from NSW assisting with the 'Drizzle' squad or youth boys. Very experienced Peter Corr from VIC has been appointed the womens coach of the 'Belles' whilst Murray Elbourn is working well with the 'Glow' or youth girls squad. There is plenty of goalball being played as all squads have planned regular camps leading up to competitions, namely international tournaments such as Regionals to be held in Bangkok in August and Youth World Champs in Budapest in June/July. Lots of support is needed to assist them on their quest and success. Also remember that Robyn Stephenson is supporting the mens and womens programs with logistics whilst Tami Elbourn is working with the youth squads although with combined camps they usually work together. Like the athletes, I appreciate all their time and effort these people put in and I ask the goalball community to support them in any way you can.

My main role this year is that of governance - to ensure we have protocols and processes in place from our Strategic Plan and mission to our updated handbook to insurance processes to a social media policy and everything in between. Over recent times we have been a managed sport under APC but as times are changing, we are looking to governing ourselves so it is important that we work together as a community and put a strong governance in place to support everyone. If anyone out there would like to assist please let me know. We are also fortunate to have Laura Sheather (VIC) join us as treasurer and with support from BSA she will be using an online financial system to manage our funds. Due to GA's high turnover of funds we will be applying for GST which also improves our governance strength and stability.

Coaches are working hard with their programs and planning and as a result has made a decision to put AIC 2017 on hold. We feel that the cost and timing of this puts added pressure on athletes and officials at present. GA will review this activity because we still feel it is a valuable event but perhaps need to time it differently with such a busy year ahead.

PSGs have also been on the agenda. Rob Apps (TD in 2015) and I are preparing a proposal which we will present at the start of March to the PSG committee in Melbourne who are wanting to formalise the program for their planning for the year. I will keep everyone posted about this event.

I also know that VGA has sent their first invitational letter for GM17 (Goalball Melbourne 2017 - branded name for AGCs this year). Their committee has started planning so a date, venue and accommodation have been booked so keep an eye out in your state for news. I will add some news as well each month to this report. They are also planning other 'things' to happen so keep an eye out for news updates.

I hope this blog got people thinking about their involvement this year. I am involved because of the opportunities I have seen this sport give to people and not just to our athletes. Lucky me has travelled to places such as Turkey, Seoul and Sweden to watch my son Sam play. I am also involved in a 'big goalball family' and now know lots of wonderful people throughout Australia. I also know I have support of many people as I take on and 'learn' this role of president. Enough of me, I hope all those athletes are getting geared up for the coming year and that we all have lots of goalball events to be involved in.

Cheers Pam Hyden