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JPA President Samuda calls for Caribbean unity

Friday, August 23, 2019

The General Assembly of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) came to a successful conclusion yesterday in Lima, Peru, where the Para Pan American Games will commence with the opening ceremony today.

President of the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA), Christopher Samuda, Secretary General Suzanne Harris-Henry and Director Randolph Jones represented Jamaica at the assembly,

Consideration was given to reports, including those relating to the executive board, women in sport, the Athlete's Commission, the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, the 2023 Para Pan American Games in Chile, where the next PanAm Games will be held, and the Agitos Foundation, the funding arm of the International Paralympic Committee, the governing global body for para sports.

Samuda made a call among Caribbean nations for greater unity and fixity of purpose in strategically developing para sports in the region.

“We have a wealth of athletic talent across disciplines in the region and committed leaders who know the requirements of the job not to be a regional leader in the global movement. We have to bring to the table all and work on time-bound customised projects aimed at institutional-strengthening and capacity-building, and in all of this create a funding mechanism to effectively resource regional efforts,” said Samuda.

JPA directors were joined at the assembly by colleagues from Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Aruba, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Bermuda.

Samuda's call for “integrative and consensual leadership and projectisation of funding initiatives” in the region is a preliminary step to what he has described as “a Caribbean journey to para self-actualisation and empowerment”.