President's Message - June 2010

Craig A. Crowley
Ever since I assumed the office of President in October of last year, I recall meeting up with a delegate who made a comment to me at the last ICSD Congress in Taipei that my honeymoon period would last around 100 days and then the real hard work would begin. How right he was!

I did say it was not going to be an easy journey. I did also say that it was going to be a very tough time for ICSD.

Compared with a decade ago, I believe that with today’s advancing technology ICSD is fast becoming open, transparent and more compassionate and that is something ICSD member organisations, regional confederations, ICSD Board and staff should work closer together to achieve the best for Deaf Sport.

For future of global Deaf Sport itself we have some deep and pressing issues facing us - a huge global economic uncertainty, deep political & diplomatic issues, a Deaf Sport in need of urgent reform.

For those reasons I took on the role of President because I wanted to work with the ICSD Board, staff, Regional Confederations and delegates as I believe that is the right way to provide this organisation with the strong, stable, good and decent governance that I still think we need so much.

That is why I believe so strongly that when we sent out our first ever ICSD Strategic PlanPDF on 1st April 2010 it encourages us to work closer together for the common good and for the international, regional and national interest. I believe that is the best way to get the strong governance that we need, the decisive governance that we need now with a clear and structured future that Deaf Sport deserves.

I came into ICSD because I believe in the Deaflympic movement. I think its best days still lie ahead of us and I believe deeply in public service to advance the importance of the Deaflympics and Deaf Sport globally.

One such public service has been that of announcing the Vancouver 2015 Winter Deaflympics in March 2010 which was an absolute pleasure. I was proud to witness the growth of Vancouver 2015 Organising Committee and I believe with the right preparation and hard work and the support of the hosting organisation, CDSA, this will be their finest hour for the next five years.

Our organisation has already faced up to really big challenges and difficulties, such as the Winter Deaflympics, in which we have had to take difficult decisions. ICSD has a job to lead Deaf Sport organisations through those difficult decisions, so that together we must aim to reach better times ahead.

That is why we had to make most difficult decision to withdraw Slovakia from hosting the Winter Deaflympics in February 2011; this had not been taken lightly despite giving Slovakia plenty of lifelines to achieve their objectives and we were deeply disappointed that this did not just happen.

We are working overtime to find a solution because we do not want to jeopardise the dreams of athletes who are aiming to compete in the prestigious Deaflympics.

That is why we have been working positively to promote political and diplomatic relations with host countries and their Governments.

One of the tasks that we clearly have been doing is to rebuild trust in our strategic vision. Yes it is about making the right decisions for the right reasons, yes that is about reforming Deaf Sport itself.

As part of reform itself we must try and embrace any new opportunities that come our way to ensure that there is equal benefit for Deaf Sport itself. That is why we must try and encourage the likes of World Deaf Sport Federations and Paralympics to improve and maintain relationships with ICSD and Deaflympics for the longer term.

But I believe it is also something else. It is about what ICSD can or at least try to achieve. Change is not what ICSD can do on its own - change is when everyone within Deaf Sport itself pulls together, comes together, works together, where everyone of us must not forget to exercise our responsibilities to ourselves, to our ICSD member delegates, to our Regional Confederates, Deaf Sport Federations and to others.

ICSD Board and staff are working tirelessly to build a more responsible organisation for the benefit of Deaf athletes worldwide. Our Deaf Sport Reform weekend will begin in earnest in July 2010 and this will be first of many reforms that will take place over the next three years.

I still want us to build a strong economy that rewards recognition and high standards for Deaf athletes. I want us to build a organisation with stronger Regional Deaf Sport Confederations and stronger National Deaf Sport Federations. And I want a strategic vision that people can trust and look up to.

Finally please remember I did say this was going to be hard and difficult work. This throws up all sorts of challenges we have been facing lately but we all must stay together to remain optimistic, realistic and focused.

Those are the things I am still passionate about and getting the best standards for all concerned. Those are the things that our organisation has been working so hard for and will still continue to work on doing what is best for Deaf Sport itself.

Craig A Crowley MBE

By Craig Crowley