Ahead of today’s European Deaf Sport Organisation Congress, former General Secretary shared an open letter and vlog to explain the situation about his dismissal and concerns of poor leadership.
Today, Saturday 10 July 2021, at the European Deaf Sport Organisation (EDSO) online Congress, one of its national members, UK Deaf Sport will table a motion of no confidence in the EDSO Board. The reason for this relates to the unexplained reasons for the 2019 abrupt dismissal of Philip Gerrard, a Vice President of UK Deaf Sport who, at the time was the EDSO Secretary General – In 2018, he was overwhelmingly voted in by the EDSO membership on his popular manifesto to help EDSO modernise and reform.
Gerrard has asked Two Big Ears to publish his IS vlog here for the benefit of the whole European Deaf Community as a matter of public interest. The vlog will be uncomfortable viewing for members of the EDSO Board because its is a frank account of concerns:
VIDEO FROM P. GERRARD:
During his tenure, Gerrard kept his word to support EDSO by following up on his promises, he identified the following challenges facing the EDSO Board:
- Lack of strategic thinking presented and reported on to member countries at meetings and in-between.
- Lack of opportunities and encouragement for women to join the EDSO Board.
- Lack of robust and transparent financial processes which led to the closure of the EDSO bank account.
After Gerrard was dismissed, UK Deaf Sport and other countries were expecting to see an improvement or changes made to the organisational issues that were raised. But since nothing has happened, the motion to make a vote of no confidence has been submitted.
Considering the amount of time that has passed since his dismissal, Gerrard has written an email and a vlog for the EDSO members to read to ensure that they fully understand the reasons for the vote of no confidence. Gerrard has also asked Two Big Ears to publish both the vlog and the messages here so that the grassroots membership in deaf sports clubs as well as the Deaf community in European nations have full access to what is going on.
As we publish this post, we understand that other nations have pledged their support to vote for this. In addition to explaining the reasons for the vote of no confidence, the motion also puts forwards recommendations that:
- All EDSO members deliver a vote of no confidence and ask for an independent review into the reasons for the dismissal of Philip Gerrard as EDSO Secretary General and;
- That the EDSO Board engage with its members to ensure that national representatives can fully access future EDSO meetings and events.
When we were approached by Philip Gerrard, we asked him why he wanted to go public. His explanation was straight to the point: “To give members the opportunity to seek reform with EDSO.”
Ahead of todays EDSO congress, UK Deaf Sport has sent in a message of support to Gerrard’s email and expressed their concerns “We are disappointed with the expereince our UK Deaf Sport International Relations ambassador has had, and look forward to seeing steps taken by EDSO to ensure greater commitment towards gender equity and good governance which is something we strongly believe in.”
UK Deaf Sport will be represented at the Congress by Gordon Hay, from the UKDS International Relations Group and Valerie Copenhagen, UKDS Executive Director. They will also table a second motion that EDSO meetings (online and face to face) must modernise and be delivered with captions in English alongside International Signs. Readers will ask “Why English?” In line with international protocol, English is the official language of communications for official EDSO business and this is stated in the EDSO constitution.