Jamaica: IPC and JPA partner to host Caribbean Para Forum and Camp

In a historic move, the Jamaica Paralympic Association will host a regional training camp as well as classification and technical courses for Caribbean stakeholders in athletics and boccia from 13-15 March.

Over 70 stakeholders are expected to assemble in Kingston to participate in educational and practical sessions which are being sponsored by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the global governing body for para sport. JPA President, Christopher Samuda in commenting on what will be a milestone event said: "The JPA/IPC partnership is symbolic of mutual confidence in Jamaica's vision which goes beyond the shoreline of Jamaica as we are committed to building Caribbean capacity in para sports and institutionalizing a pathway for regional coaches and technical officials to be the engines of development and to become pacesetters while at the same time maturing and transitioning talent." 

The local apex body has in recent years expanded the menu of para sports to include boccia, archery, surfing, fencing, pistol shooting and cycling and has enabled medal performances by athletes in taekwondo and judo in regional games as well as international tournaments staged by the respective international federations whose success led to their transitioning to the Paralympic stage in Tokyo. 

Well decorated Paralympian, and now JPA Sports Manager, Neville Sinclair, underscores that “the local para sport movement has long ago moved from being only track and field to having several successful sports on the agenda and that is forward progress." 

Jamaica Paralympic Association President  Christopher Samuda. JPA
Jamaica Paralympic Association President Christopher Samuda. JPA

Manager Sinclair's view coincides with JPA President Samuda's vision of sport development. "Sport development must be holistic and to be viable the plan must have inbuilt strategies and activations across the board of sports in affording a myriad of options for youth engagement, in ensuring the deepening and sustainability of the talent pool and in achieving, ultimately, diversification of the sport economy and brand commercialisation," he said. 

Stakeholders from thirteen countries will pursue in earnest aspirations in becoming world certified para coaches well as global classifiers and technical officials and interest in the medical field locally is noticeably growing. "The JPA will continue to professionalise the delivery of para sport and it begins with an investment in character, values and competencies for in the absence of capitalising the human capital, the spend will be spent," President Samuda said.

The Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) was established in 2008 and is the successor to the Jamaica Paraplegic Association, which was founded in 1966 by Sir John Golding. The JPA is the national governing body for sports for the physically and visually impaired.