HomeParalympic SportsJamaica Paralympic Association makes push for 2028 LA Games

Jamaica Paralympic Association makes push for 2028 LA Games

ALTHOUGH looking forward to competing at this summer’s Paralympic Games in Paris, Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) President Christopher Samuda says JPA is targeting massive success for the country’s athletes at the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

Jamaica’s athletes are gearing up for their 14th appearance at the Summer Paralympics in France since making their Paralympics debut in 1968.

Only four athletes competed at the COVID-19-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021, with Alberto Campbell Staines and Sylvia Grant representing in track and field while Shauna Kay-Hines and Theador Subba competed in taekwondo and judo, respectively.

However, Samuda is hoping to see an increase in this year’s staging.

“By the end of May I will know exactly the sports that have qualified. Track and field has already qualified; we hope that we’ll be historic with cycling and archery so I’m hoping five or six sports will be represented at the Games in France. I’m very hopeful and very inspired by the drive of our para-athletes,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

However, Samuda says the association’s primary goal is to ensure that the 2028 Games will be a significant event for Jamaica, and it has been actively working towards making this a reality.

“We [had a] forum under the aegis of the International Paralympic Committee and the Jamaica Paralympic Association where Jamaican coaches in track and field and boccia, officials, classifiers, referees and technical officials went through a training course. This is part of JPA’s campaign to build capacity in terms of our coaches, our technical officials and classifiers, so we have an ongoing programme. We are [also] going to have, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games Committee, another training programme for track and field athletes — and we’re doing relatively well,” he said.

Samuda believes that by providing training and support to local officials, JPA is playing a crucial role in bolstering Jamaica’s prospects for success in the next four years in the USA.

“Sodia Peters, we realised she had talent two years ago, we funded her, and now she’s an international[ly] certified technical official. I doubt we have that example in the Olympic movement. She will be officiating at the World Championships in Japan, and hopefully in Paris at the Paralympic Games,” he said.

“We also have three or four persons on that pathway as well so by LA 2028 we will have at least four technical officials certified in track and field and other sports. We have badminton officials en route so it is part of our campaign to invest in talent within the movement and bring that talent to fruition in a very practical way so they can help our para-athletes not only to prepare competitively, but also in terms of their life skills,” Samuda added.

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