EDITORIAL - Well done, Sylvia Grant

Published: Friday | December 13, 2013 Comments 0

Occasionally, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC), the local-government authority, and its leadership, do get it right.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the corporation and mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown Burke, presented the key to the city to Sylvia Grant, the Paralympian.

For a quarter-century, Ms Grant has done this country proud, performing with distinction and winning medals at international games, including the Paralympics, in the javelin and discus throws. For athletic achievement alone, she deserves the recognition.

But from this newspaper's perspective, Ms Grant transcends athletics, which, in a sense, is a by-product of something far deeper - discipline and hard work. And that goes to character.

For any athlete to reach the top of his or her discipline, that demands intense training, which often means pushing the body beyond normal limits of endurance.

We suspect the physical and mental stress of this can be even greater for persons with disabilities. To this, we add a premium for its accomplishment in a country like Jamaica, where resources are limited and facilities for people with disabilities - or even appreciation of these shortcomings - lag behind those available to many of their competitors.

Ms Grant, however, displays an infectious spirit and will that defeat physical disability and mobility only by a wheelchair. This is an example and ought to be a call to action for all Jamaicans.

Put another way, she exemplifies the possibilities in all of us, as well as the potential of the country, if we apply discipline, effort and the right mix of social and economic policies.

Ms Grant, by her performance, speaks loudly, too, on behalf of the nearly 10 per cent of the population that has some form of disability, but who continuously demonstrate that, in the appropriate environment and with the right opportunities, they can add value to this society.

The opinions on this page, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner. To respond to a Gleaner editorial, email us: editor@gleanerjm.com or fax: 922-6223. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all responses will be published.

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