Talet till årsmötet

Lämnar som vanligt Jersey med blandade känslor. Ledsamt att lämna vänner bakom sig men skönt att komma hem igen. I går höll den internationella öspelsorganisationen sitt årsmöte i Radisson Blu på Jersey. Det blev ett effektivt, progressivt och framåtblickande möte där flera viktiga frågor avgjordes med förkrossande majoritet. Sådant känns bra att uppleva!
Jag hade som ordförande nöjet att inleda hela tillställningen och sade ungefär följande (på engelska):

Dear friends, members of the International Island Games family. Thanks for attending this Annual General Meeting where discussions will take place, decisions will be made and views will be expressed in order to develop sport on our islands. I do not have to remind you about the success that the NatWest Island Games has become over the years. You all know this better than anyone. I will however highlight a few challenges that we are facing at the moment. These need to be handled with pragmatism, patience, wisdom, genuine respect and a good mood!

Before I continue with these I want to remind you a little of who we are and where we want to go and the difference between decisions and opinions. You are all representing different islands with different needs and different premises. Exactly the same as in any family. We do however share a common history and we strive towards common goals, better sport, fitness, health, happiness and friendship. In order to reach these goals the means and views can though be different, just like in families. And as we all know even in families there exist differences in opinions. You have to deal with the caring uncles, your sometimes-strange brothers and sisters, your cousins that occasionally say nasty things, especially after a few glasses of wine, parents who will never leave you alone and so on. Despite all of this we still love them because that is what you do in families. In families we also see new members arrive and old ones leave. Just as we do in our beloved Association. Next year it will be 30 years since we started our journey together. We are a grown-up now and we have to make our own decisions and that is why we are here today.

It is at this very meeting, under the Constitution we have agreed, that the decisions should be made. It is here the discussions will take place to move our Association forward rather than in bars and dark alleys. By attending this meeting you are expected to share your views with your friends. I will at this time remind you all to please speak slowly, clearly and respectfully. There are many people here that do not have English as their mother tongue.

When it comes to the challenges we are facing most of them will be dealt with later in the meeting. I still want to highlight a few. First of all. This AGM will be the last meeting where Kay Batty will take the minutes as General Secretary. She decided earlier this year to retire after fifteen years of outstanding work. I know because I have worked closely together with her and would never have made it without Kay. On behalf of everyone in this room, thank you. After her decision we advertised for her successor and decided to appoint Andy Varnom as the new General Secretary. You all know Andy and I am sure the transition from Kay to Andy will go smoothly. Thank you Kay and welcome Andy. In the end of this meeting before we leave I will hand over a token of appreciation from all of us to Kay.

With Andy Varnom taking over as General Secretary he will obviouslyleave his position as an executive member. The Committee has therefore decided to co-opt an ordinary member from this autumn up to the next AGM. This is an unique opportunity for any interested and dedicated islander to get involved in a fantastic, joyful and fruitful committee. We are looking for someone that could take over Andys present workload and who will have the timecommittment, communicational skills, integrity, enthusiasm, stability, knowledge in international sport and more. I would therefore urge you to go back to your islands and discuss this matter and come back with potential candidates no later than the last of July next month. Communicate this to Kay in the office, yes, she will still be there then, and should there be questions in regard to this do not hesitate to contact any of the present Executive Members. The work in the Committee has become more and more demanding as the years go on. We are providing induction of new members and we are doing appraisals on a regular basis in order to constantly improve the work we do and the administration we provide for all the member islands and Host Islands. The NatWest Island Games in Jersey next summer is under a budget of 1,85 million pounds. Their organisation is as we have seen this week skilful and professional. That is exactly as the Executive Committee must work aswell.

That leads me on to the second challenge which is the NatWest Island Games 2015. I want to remind you that we are organising the Games together. We are facing exceptional circumstances with more competitors than we have ever seen before. Phil Austin, the chairman of the Organising Committee will talk more about this later but when it comes to especially football the need for your cooperation is more important than ever. We are facing difficulties never seen before and have to work together in order to handle them.

Our third major challenge is the Games in 2019 which were planned to take place in the Faroe Islands. During the spring your Executive Committee was contacted by the Faroes who said that they can not host 12 sports in 2019 and therefore wanted to wait until later. I will ask Petur Elias Petersen to speak more about this later in the meeting. This however led up to us contacting Menorca and asking if it would be possible to become a Host Island 2019 rather than 2021 which has been earlier agreed. Happily they considered our offer and came back saying yes, we can! Thanks for that. Later on we will hear more about their plans and also discuss the process that has to follow.
Finally. On behalf of the International Island Games Association I want to thank the Organisers of the NatWest Island Games 2015 for your hospitality and friendship during these days of joy. I also want to thank the islands of Alderney and Sark for their cordial reception during our visit to them earlier this week. In the Executive Committee we find it important to stay in constant contact with all our member islands and took therefore the opportunity to pay them a visit while we were in the neighbourhood, so to speak. Extra thanks to our Treasurer Bob who sorted a very cost effective way to travel there. However, Bob, it would be nice if we the next time could travel a normal way instead of the cheapest way… I still suffer a little from Bumblebeepanic.

And very last but not least. Thanks to all my fellow members in the executive committee, you are the best. Thanks also to all the Honorary Life Members whose support and friendship will last forever and thanks to all of you representatives of the Member Islands sitting here today. Without you the NatWest Island Games would not exist and our lives would be much more boring. Let the meeting begin!

Detta var ett känslosamt ögonblick då jag tackade av vår avgående generalsekreterare, Kay Batty. Hon är en fantastisk människa som med fast hand och öppet sinne varit med och byggt öspelsorganisationen till vad den i dag är. 
Så här ser det ut när representanter från 24 olika öar från hela världen möts.
När det var exakt ett år kvar tills NatWest Island Games startar nästa år sköt guvernören på Jersey av ett kanonskott som fick tänderna att skallra! 
Nästa års maskot heter Indigo och är en liten och pigg gorillaunge på Durrell Wild Life Park på Jersey. Från vänster Lee Durrell, undertecknad och Jerseys ordförande Phil Austin. En replika av Indigo sitter i mitten.
Så här kan det se ut när vi sitter och diskuterar och planerar och drar upp strategier för framtiden.
Från vänster NatWest-representanten Jerry Whitsey, Jersey-guvernören John McColl, undertecknad samt Phil Austin. Det var en fantastisk dag på en fin gård.


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