Disability Sport Wales Chief Executive Jon Morgan has announced he will step down after a very successful fifteen years in the post.
He will remain in post until the end of June and continue to lead the organisation in delivering its vision for disability sport in Wales until his departure.
“I’m immensely proud of the work Disability Sport Wales has undertaken over the last 15 years and the impact we have had in developing a more inclusive approach to sport which is transforming the lives of so many people across Wales” said Jon Morgan.
“I have been fortunate to work in a dynamic, passionate environment which has changed beyond all expectations during the last 15 years. I can consider myself privileged to have met and worked alongside some truly inspirational people. Disability Sport Wales has always placed great importance on its ‘family’ values. My decision to step down reflects the need to support my own family at a time of transition.”
“As we enter a period of change, I am wholly confident in the collective strengths of my senior management colleagues, the Chair and our Board to lead the organisation to the next level.”
“This is an exciting time for Disability Sport Wales and I look forward to seeing the great strides that the organisation will make in the future.”
Since Jon’s appointment in 2002, grassroots participation opportunities have increased across Wales from 1200 to over 1.4 million per year by 2016. At the same time the number of clubs have increased from 31 to over 400, with a workforce of over 7000 coaches and volunteers.
Club Membership in 2002 did not effectively exist but now the sports sector has over 22,000 disabled members actively participating on a weekly basis. In addition, Disability Sport Wales continues to drive inclusion in sport across Wales which reflects the growing number of organisations that deliver inclusive sport and activity.
Over the same period Wales has enjoyed unprecedented success within international sport delivering more medals and athletes than ever before at European, World Championships and Paralympic games.
The nation hosted the most successful ever International Paralympic Athletics European Championships, Swansea 2014 as well as contributing to recent Team Wales success at the Melbourne, Delhi and Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Jon will remain in position as Vice- chair of Commonwealth Games Wales and as board member for the Welsh Sports Association as well as continuing his role with Boccia UK and the World Governing Body for Boccia.
Helen Philips, Chair of Commonwealth Games Wales said, “The inclusion and success of our para athletes in Team Wales has been one of the real highlights of recent Games. Whilst Jon will be huge loss to Disability Sport Wales, I am delighted that he will be continuing on our board as we prepare for Gold Coast 2018.”
Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of Sport Wales, said: ”I have worked with Jon for many years and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his hard work and dedication.
“Jon has left a real legacy through his work at Disability Sport Wales; the first to establish a community sport network across the whole of Wales for people with disabilities and the development of a Paralympic sporting system that is envied across the World. Jon’s enthusiasm, dedication and hard work will be missed by all who work in sport in Wales. I wish him every success for the future. I’m sure he will continue to support the sector in his new endeavours and I look forward to continuing to work with Jon in his capacity as a Board member of Commonwealth Games Wales and the Welsh Sports Association.”
Pippa Britton, Chair of Disability Sport Wales added: “I want to take an opportunity to pay tribute to Jon and to his contribution to Disability Sport Wales over the last 15 years. His hard work has not only led to us being able to offer amazing opportunities within disability sport, but his vision has directly led to greater inclusion within sport in Wales more widely – a wonderful legacy.”
“It has been a real privilege to work with him and I am sure that he will continue to add his wealth of knowledge and experience to sport in Wales and in the UK. He continues to share our commitment to empower people and organisations to transform lives through the power of sport and I am sure he will continue to add insight to the sector in the years ahead. I know that everyone in Disability Sport Wales joins me in sending warmest wishes for Jon’s future.”