The First 20 Years of the DSAUK
An article by Arthur Dean from the latest issue of Reachout
It is with great pride that I sit here today, writing this article.
Where has the time gone? What have we achieved? Where are we now?
I would need a book to fill everything in. But allow me to take some part of those 20 years and share them with you……..
Myself Nichola, Graham, June, Kim, Chris, Joanne, Ros, Andrew and our beloved Tony went over to Chicago only to be bowled over with what we experienced. But our children experienced more.There were dwarfs of all ages, all sizes coming together in sport. We saw our children take part in equal competitions for the first time. It was a week that would change our lives forever.
From this experience we returned to England to form the Dwarf Athletic Association UK. In 1994 we held our 1st National Games in Walsall. From our gallery of pictures you will see and recognize people who were at those games.
Lovely Janet from the DAAA in America came to support us along with Trina Curran from North West BSAD. We had 41 athletes take part and it was a great success. Since then each year we held our National Games, we held the games in Walsall then Peterborough and then to Birmingham where we are now.
Our membership has grown immensely and throughout those years I have seen young athletes come and have a go at different sports and feel good about themselves. I have seen them grow up into fine young adults, who choose to either go on in their sport or do it casually, but in doing that I have seen them mature and turn into lovely young people.
I have seen families come year on year and still be here, even when their child has had some time out. I have seen the passion and dedication from so many who want to be part of securing the future of DSAuk and I am so proud, especially of our young people who have grown up and been part of the committee of the DSAuk giving back some of what the Association gave them.
Looking back we never imagined we would be able to move from our front room to an actual office,we never thought we would find funding for 3 staff, we always dreamt it. But now it’s real. I would like to pay tribute to all those who are working hard to continually find the funding for DSAuk to be at the level it is today and long may it continue. I would like to thank everyone who has played a part and is still playing a part in the running of the National Games and all our 8 regions. All our volunteers play a vital role and you are so very valued.
2012 was a great year for us in so many ways but especially having Ellie, Matt, and Zoe in the Paralympics, all their achievements have helped play a vital part in the DSAuk being recognised as a National Disability Sporting Body and for that we are so very proud and we thank them.
We have broken down barriers in so many sports and are continuing to do so.As we go through our 20 th year of Celebrations with the Dwarf Sports Association we hope that you all have enjoyed being part of it. I would like for us to celebrate the huge success of our GB Team returning from the 6th World Games at the MSU in East Lansing, Michigan USA. Very Well Done Everyone.
We look forward to the next 20 years of DSAuk.