Hines qualifies for Parapan American Games
It is an admirable achievement to be among the best in the Americas with more than a fighting chance for international acknowledgement. But it is exceptional when, in so achieving, you create and become a part of history.
Shauna Kay Hines, a para athlete in the sport of taekwondo, has this enviable distinction. She is the first national para athlete to qualify in the sport for the ParaPan American Games and appears to be well set to be the first Jamaican to qualify for next year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
In her last competition in the Mexico Open TKD Championship in April, she was the joint bronze medallist. Ayshat Ramazanova of Russia won gold, Cristhiane Nascimento of Brazil grabbed silver, and Brianna Salinaro of the United States shared the bronze with Hines.
“I am proud to be Jamaican and a Jamaican achiever. I still have some way to travel, but I remain focused and determined to make my Paralympic family continue to cheer,” Hines beamed.
Her feat is moreover fascinating as Hines only started the sport just two years ago. President of the Jamaica Paralympic Association Christopher Samuda said: “Shauna Kay represents a fine brand of an athlete who is committed to her chosen sport, demonstrates the passion and courage to pursue excellence, and exemplifies that Paralympic spirit which drives you beyond the incredible.”
Her advent in the sport is the result of the discerning eye of Master Conrad Jenkins, president of the Jamaica Taekwondo Association, who immediately saw in her talent, attitude and aptitude for success.
A respected international referee who has officiated at Olympic Games and World Championships, Jenkins and coach Kenroy Clarke are monitoring Hines’ progress and transition as a force with which to reckon on the international stage.