Guernsey has a new Cycling Development Officer. Paul ‘Digger’ de Garis will take up the role in January.
‘It’s a fantastic opportunity,’ said Paul.
‘So much hard work has already been done by the volunteers in the past and the amount of talent that’s come through is amazing. I just want to follow that on and deliver what the Guernsey Velo Club want.’
In common with other sport-specific Development Officer’s, Paul’s role will be to increase participation at all levels of the sport, engaging with the whole community
‘It’s a passion of mine to be coaching at all levels and I want to make cycling inclusive to everyone and make sure that everyone enjoys it,’ he said.
Newly appointed President of the Guernsey Velo Club, Alex Margison, is excited about what Paul can bring to cycling.
‘The appointment of a dedicated full time Development Officer is going to make a huge difference to us in terms of not just the support we’re going to be able to offer our existing members, but also in being able to reach out to groups who perhaps wouldn’t think of cycle racing as their primary sport or are maybe unaware of what we offer,’ said Alex.
‘To have half of the currently announced Commonwealth Games team being cyclists just goes to show what can be achieved, and hopefully this will inspire others to get involved and build a sustainable cycling success story going forward.’
The Development Officer post is being funded jointly by the Guernsey Sports Commission, the Guernsey Velo Club, and a private benefactor.
‘I’m really looking forward to working with Paul and the rest of the Board in delivering our development plan, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to get the popular inter-insular races up and running again after a two-year hiatus,’ said Alex.
‘It’s certainly an exciting time to be taking over as President. Mark Smith has done a great job over the last four years in taking the club forward, especially considering the challenging environment over the last two years. He has been instrumental in getting a Cycling Development Officer in place.
The Sports Commission has also welcomed Paul’s appointment.
‘Paul’s impressive coaching background is going to be a real asset to both cycling and the Commission in general,’ said Graham Chester, Operations Director for the Commission.
‘We have been able to appoint new Development Officers in three sports this year boosting our existing team of sport-specific officers and increasing the breadth of sporting opportunities we are able to offer our community.
‘We are working on exciting plans to appoint one more Development Officer early next year to help promote Outdoor and Adventure Sports with the emphasis on sea-based activities so watch this space for further information.’