St James Para Federation launched
Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) President Christopher Samuda said the body is looking to further its objective of developing para sports islandwide, starting with constituting the St James Para Federation.
He was speaking at the inaugural St James Para Federation meeting at the Montego Bay Cricket Club.
Samuda said that as well as establishing governance and an administrative framework, the JPA will be targeting infrastructure that will serve the Paralympic movement.
“What is important is that we build out the federations in each parish, and St James is leading the way,” Samuda said. “These federations in each parish will make up the Paralympics association. They will vote in members and executives. What we are doing here is to jump-start the St James Para Federation, and the executive, which will serve in the parish and will be primarily responsible for the development of Para Sports in the parish. They will also be responsible for identifying and developing athletes in the parish to represent Jamaica at both regional and international levels.
Samuda said the long-term objective is to have a home for its para sports.
“Given the economics, you may not have a home for each parish federation because we don’t have the resources to establish multiple sports facilities in each parish,” he said. “What we will have to do is look at the existing facilities, and though they may be in a state of disrepair, we will have to use them to develop para athletes in all sports possible.”
Samuda is calling on the Montego Bay business community to aid in the development of para sports in the west.
“What we will be doing is use existing facilities in St James,” he said. “Clearly, we are going to have the financial base for that. Part of the executive primary role is to ensure that the federations, to a certain extent in the future, be self-funded, and that is why we are going to be inviting the business community in St James to get on board as sponsors of athletes and the federation. Though not ideal, this will give us a fighting chance to ensure talent is developed.”