Deaf compete in first national sports day

Published: Friday | December 3, 2010 Comments 0
Chairman of Deaf Sports Jamaica, Kevin McDonald addressing athletes. - Photos by Peter Kavanaugh
An athlete beams with his medal around his neck.

Peter Kavanaugh, Contributor

IN WHAT was dubbed a "defining moment for persons with disability", State Minister for Labour and Social Security Andrew Gallimore last Saturday launched the first national sports day for the deaf on the grounds of Manchester High School in Mandeville.

"The Deaf in Jamaica have come a long way by actually having this event which is organised by Deaf Sports Jamaica (DSJ), an entity formed earlier this year, whose purpose is to promote active participation and competition among members of the deaf population, so as to one day enable the country to finally field athletes at the international level, at events such as the Deaf Pan American Games and Deaflympics," Gallimore said.

He noted that the turnout was much more than he had anticipated and that the sheer number of persons present was a wonderful sign for the future.

Full-length support

David Mais, chairman of the Sports Development Foundation promised to lend full support to the future programmes of the DSJ. "We will be having more discussions with this entity to see ways and means of strengthening the partnership for the empowerment of the disabled, in particular, the Deaf Community," he indicated.

One of the main highlights of the opening ceremony was a special talk given by Jamaican-born and former Deaf Olympian Rohan Smith who had represented Canada. "In my time of competition, I had to compete against the best in the world, I even participated in competition with hearing persons and did well so all of you here can do the same. What is important is for you to have a dream and to follow that dream. This national sports day and the formation of DSJ is a step in that direction," he said.

Overall some 300 athletes, drawn from most of the Deaf learning institutions spread across Jamaica, were part of the historic day and as such, strong competition was the order of the day in track and field, six-a-side football, netball, basketball and table tennis. For any onlooker, the broad smiles and friendly competitive spirit of the participants as they cheered on their colleagues was a sight to behold.

Juici Patties out of Clarendon was the main corporate sponsor. Chairman of DSJ, Kevin McDonald, praised the company for the very tangible ways it had responded to the urgent plea for help. Other entities lending support include Church Teacher's College, St John's Ambulance, Virginia Dare (Ja.) and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life.

Peter Kavanaugh

Contributor

IN WHAT was dubbed a "defining moment for persons with disability", State Minister for Labour and Social Security Andrew Gallimore last Saturday launched the first national sports day for the deaf on the grounds of Manchester High School in Mandeville.

"The Deaf in Jamaica have come a long way by actually having this event which is organised by Deaf Sports Jamaica (DSJ), an entity formed earlier this year, whose purpose is to promote active participation and competition among members of the deaf population, so as to one day enable the country to finally field athletes at the international level, at events such as the Deaf Pan American Games and Deaflympics," Gallimore said.

He noted that the turnout was much more than he had anticipated and that the sheer number of persons present was a wonderful sign for the future.

full-length support

David Mais, chairman of the Sports Development Foundation promised to lend full support to the future programmes of the DSJ. "We will be having more discussions with this entity to see ways and means of strengthening the partnership for the empowerment of the disabled, in particular, the Deaf Community," he indicated.

One of the main highlights of the opening ceremony was a special talk given by Jamaican-born and former Deaf Olympian Rohan Smith who had represented Canada. "In my time of competition, I had to compete against the best in the world, I even participated in competition with hearing persons and did well so all of you here can do the same. What is important is for you to have a dream and to follow that dream. This national sports day and the formation of DSJ is a step in that direction," he said.

Overall some 300 athletes, drawn from most of the Deaf learning institutions spread across Jamaica, were part of the historic day and as such, strong competition was the order of the day in track and field, six-a-side football, netball, basketball and table tennis. For any onlooker, the broad smiles and friendly competitive spirit of the participants as they cheered on their colleagues was a sight to behold.

Juici Patties out of Clarendon was the main corporate sponsor. Chairman of DSJ, Kevin McDonald, praised the company for the very tangible ways it had responded to the urgent plea for help. Other entities lending support include Church Teacher's College, St John's Ambulance, Virginia Dare (Ja.) and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life.

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