Tue | Sep 17, 2019

Samuda calls for Caribbean unity

Published:Friday | August 23, 2019 | 12:16 AM
From left: Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) President Christopher Samuda, with Alberto Juantorena, president of the Cuban Paralympic Committee, and JPA director Randolph Jones at the Americas Paralympic Committee General Assembly in Lima, Peru.
From left: Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) President Christopher Samuda, with Alberto Juantorena, president of the Cuban Paralympic Committee, and JPA director Randolph Jones at the Americas Paralympic Committee General Assembly in Lima, Peru.

Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) president Christopher Samuda has made a call among Caribbean nations for greater unity and fixity of purpose in strategically developing para sports in the region.

Samuda was speaking at the General Assembly of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC), which was labelled a success, ahead of the start of the Para Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, today.

“We have a wealth of athletic talent across disciplines in the region and committed leaders who know the requirements of the job 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,” Samuda said.

JPA secretary-general Suzanne Harris-Henry, and director Randolph Jones, Samuda, and other officials representing the body were joined at the assembly by colleagues from Trinidad and 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 in what he has described as “a Caribbean journey to para self-actualisation and empowerment”.

Consideration was given to reports, including those relating to the executive board, Women in sport, the Athletes’ Commission, the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, the 2023 ParaPan American Games in Chile, where the next Pan Am games will be held, and the Agitos Foundation, the funding arm of the International Paralympic Committee, the governing global body for para sports.