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NISA Focus Group Thoughts

Following the advanced notice of the 2018 Annual AGM. NISA spoke with several members of the NISA Focus group to find out their thoughts on the upcoming positions available with the Board and Technical Advisory Committee. Read their comments below:

“Inclusive Skating is delighted to welcome the opportunity for volunteers to fully participate in the development of ice skating in Great Britain. Skating can now be voted on by the skaters, for the benefit of all the skaters and managed by a Board and committee structure that considers the present and long term interests of the entire skating community. The new committees use modern technology so you can be an armchair enthusiast. Meetings are great fun too!” - Margarita Sweeney-Baird

"Being part of the focus group has allowed me to make a valued contribution to the shaping of the future of Nisa and skating in the UK. The focus group are being given the opportunity to make things better within the sport. Now is a great time to be involved in the sport. We will shortly be looking for volunteers to nominate themselves for the technical committees going forward after the AGM, this is your opportunity to shape the future of our sport. If you are eligible to vote please make sure you use it, this your opportunity to have your say! Look out for further information on how you can be nominated for the new committees!" - Joanne Gillmore
"Hi, I’m Tony Barron and I am a member of the focus group that was set up following the major changes approved at the AGM in December of last year.
Our major work has been in assisting in drafting the many new policies that have needed to be set in place to bring NISA into the 21st Century and thereby, no longer a sport that was rapidly becoming a relic of a bye gone age.
The new Technical Committee system and composition of the Board of Directors has been approved by Sport England and is now in line with best practice of the majority of UK Sports Governing bodies. In particular, those that are not only winning Olympic and International medals, but encouraging more and more participants of all ages into their sports, for enjoyment, fitness and lifetime participation.
We need volunteers to stand for the various Committees, which will now have a major role in the future.   In this regard we all know how difficult it is to find time to give to Committee activity but through the work of the Focus Group we have piloted very successfully, Video meetings, which have enabled us to meet face to face on a regular basis.  No time is wasted on travelling and no expense is involved except your time (and maybe recording your favourite TV programme).  
So in future, if elected, you will be able to make a major contribution to the future of your sport from the comfort of your own home.
The first AGM of this new era in British Ice Skating will be early in December. YOU have a say in the future of skating in the UK.  Please do not hesitate to put your name forward if you would like to stand for a Committee but, and even if not, please USE YOUR VOTE." - Tony Barron

"I have been part of the NISA Focus Group now for 6 Months, and during that short time we have discussed a variety of issues from transgender policies and equality to social media and terms of reference for the new committees being set up.  Some of these policies have been sent for board approval.  The meetings are held by video conferencing, and we usually have one or two a month lasting about an hour.  As there is no need to travel to the meetings they have all been very well attended, as we can usually find a time when we are all available.  They are chaired by Michelle Draper, NISA CEO, and are very open and frank, with a multitude of ideas being brought forward for discussion and to be put before the new committees.
I believe that with the implementation of the new committees it will help NISA grow and develop, and move the sport forward.  If you want to be part of this process and have a say on how our sport is improved then I urge you to join one of the new committees, attend the AGM and vote on the changes." - Andy Dunkley
“Following on from NISA Members voting in the new Constitution at the EGM last December, this year’s AGM will take place shortly.  One of the main agenda items of this year’s meeting will be to vote for the new Board and Committees that will give around 60 volunteers the opportunity to join the team to continue the journey towards NISA gaining compliance with the UK Sport and Sport England requirements, hopefully leading to NISA ultimately managing any funding available for our athletes moving forwards.  Being transparent and having integrity have always been important traits for the NISA leadership team, but now these qualities are specific requirements of the Association if it is to be successful moving forwards.  The ISU is also adapting to a trend towards organisations such as itself being more transparent, and as part of that they publish the summary findings of disciplinary cases that involve their officials.  These are encouraging moves, and it is reasonable to expect that NISA will adopt similar practices.  If you are passionate about skating in this country, have the necessary qualifications and experience to join the Board or one of the new Committees, and want to contribute to the changes that are now under way, then now is possibly the best time to step forward to help shape the kind of future that NISA deserves.  I hope that the changes under way, and new initiatives that will form part of how NISA evolves moving forwards, will help NISA grow and develop into being the powerhouse it once was in this sport.  I look forward to seeing these and other positive changes come to fruition, and encourage as many like-minded volunteers as possible to help bring about this culture change.”- Darryl Jones