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By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
Jamaica's Paralympic movement has made significant strides in promoting inclusion and providing support to para-athletes and the Jamaica Paralympic Association deserves major credit for its role.
Recognising the unique challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, the government, along with various sports organizations and private entities, has invested resources to ensure equal opportunities for para-athletes. Programs focusing on talent identification, training and development have been established to nurture and harness the potential of athletes with disabilities. This commitment to inclusion has not only transformed lives but helped break down societal barriers and promote a more inclusive society.
Our Paralympians are represented by the national governing organization of Paralympic sport in Jamaica, which has a long and illustrious history of breaking records and setting new ones at international competitions. The Jamaica Paraplegic Association, founded in 1966 by the late Sir John Golding, was replaced by the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA), which was founded in 2008. The JPA is the national governing organisation for physically and visually impaired athletes. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), a global organization based in Germany that oversees Paralympic sport, is a member of the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA).
The Jamaica Disability Cricket Federation (JDCF) and the Jamaica Wheelchair Basketball Federation (JWBF) are under the control of the JPA. Track & field, wheelchair basketball, table tennis, cricket, swimming, pistol shooting, and archery are just a few of the competitive sports it oversees. Athletes have competed in many international competitions under the auspices of the JPA, including the Paralympic Games, the World Athletics Championships of the International Paralympic Committee, the Commonwealth Games, the Para Pan-American Games, and the Central American & Caribbean Wheelchair Basketball Games.
The Sports Development Foundation, a government-owned organization, grants the JPA a stipend, and corporate Jamaica also contributes money to the organization.
Our athletes have a highly admirable history at international competitions, winning numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals throughout the years in addition to setting numerous global and local records. As our competitors took the stage to accept gold medals for outstanding performances, the national anthem could be heard playing in many different nations. The JPA sees its role as encouraging excellence in both performance and competition as well as instilling in both athletes and officials a sense of fair play, justice, and equity that fosters the development of moral character and the nation.
Those who came before and excelled have claimed their appropriate places in civil society, made significant contributions to numerous initiatives, and, through their achievements, helped to favourably change how society views people with disabilities.
To accomplish one of its goals, the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) established the St. James Parasports Federation (SJPF) on December 2, 2020, at the Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay then the St. Ann Parasports Federation at the Hibiscus Lodge in Ocho Rios. Both federations are recognized as members of the governing body. Decentralizing parasports by emphasizing parish development outside of Kingston and St. Andrew, where incalculable athletic and managerial talent resides, is another crucial strategic goal of the JPA.
The JPA recognizes them as the entities in charge of parasports in the parish of St. James and St. Ann. They have their own executive executives, membership, constitutional framework, and plans and initiatives for strategic and business development.
Jamaica's Paralympic movement has created a lasting legacy that extends beyond the sporting arena. It has challenged societal perceptions of disability, emphasized the importance of inclusion, and provided a platform for para-athletes to showcase their talents. The successes of Jamaican para-athletes have inspired a new generation, fueling dreams and aspirations in individuals with disabilities. Looking forward, the nation is committed to further enhancing its Paralympic programs, expanding opportunities, and fostering an environment where para-athletes can reach their full potential.
Jamaica Paralympic Association Contact Information
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