“Operation Big Ben” is now underway as the JPA prepares for the 2017 London World Para Athletics Championships where, it is being planned, our para athletes will have their best showing ever in international competition.
London has treasured memories of the 2012 Paralympic Games with the golden achievements of Alphonso Cunningham and next year summer “Operation Big Ben” will come to a crescendo in July.
New athletes have surged into the programme with great enthusiasm and potential and have been inspired by the achievements of past and current Paralympians. Sport Manager, Neville Sinclair, is optimistic: “We are broadening our base and there is enough talent in the camp for us to be confident. The athletes jsut have to deliver”
The JPA is on a campaign to increase its cadre of para athletes and the number of disciplines or events in which Jamaica will participate in international competitions . This is a principal goal in the Strategic Paln for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
“Operation Big Ben” formally begins the march and the troops are being conditioned physically and psychologically for the assignment. It is ambitious but not beyond the reach of those committed and driven officials and athletes of the JPA who have a fixed gaze on the big clock which they hope will chime gold.
JPA President, Christopher Samuda, is a study of concentration: “I am continually evaluating the landscape to see how best we can grow our successes at championships. Thought after thought is measured and weighed practically for we have to get the formula right and then perfect it”
Training has started and athletes are aware of the qualifying times and distances in their respective events and the dots they have to connect along the journey to reach London, that famous city of revered Paralympic and Olympic traditions. In less than nine months, the games will begin and so too the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Jamaica’s para athletes.