Jamaica Para Toronto Forms
“Historic” is what President of the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA), Christopher Samuda, has described the move to form a Jamaica Para Toronto Federation which will inaugurate a drive to incorporate other Federations in other major cities around the world.
The announcement was made during a courtesy call which Team Jamaica at the 2015 Pra Pan American Games paid on Jamaica Consul General, Lloyd Wilks, at the Consulate today.
Mr. Wilks endorsed wholeheartedly the move and pledged his support and that of the Consulate in advancing the interest of the JPA and the Paralympic movement in Jamaica and the Diaspora in Canada particularly Toronto.
President Samuda said that Jamaica Para Toronto is the start and a part of a strategic vision which the JPA has in advancing athlete support and welfare and signals what he anticipates will be the robust growth of “Jam Paralympism” beyond the shores of Jamaica. “I am excited at the prospect of greater opportunities for the JPA to develop its athletic programmes and funding mechanisms as well as enhancing its profile all for the betterment of our athletes who are central to our vision and mission, and rightfully so, as without them the JPA would not exist”
Roger Shaw, a Jamaican residing in Canada who hosts the popular sport programme “World Beat Sports” on the local station G 98.7 and who is one of the major Jamaican players in Jamaica Para Toronto, demonstrated the commitment of the patriots residing in Canada in saying:”This is our contribution to Jamaica and Paralympism and we are entirely devoted to the cause”
Team Jamaica was introduced to the members of staff of the Consulate who
expressed pleasure in meeting national representatives of a sporting movement.
The Diaspora Paralympic Movement will continue and reports are that Miami, Atlanta, London and Paris are on the strategic map.
The Jamaican Flag is Hoisted at the Toronto Para Pan
The grandeur of the National Anthem reverberated around 65 Trinity Street where the 2015 Toronto CIBC Para Pan Athletes’ Village is located as the Jamaican flag was hoisted at the Welcome Ceremony yesterday.
Brand Jamaica was on show as officials and athletes, attired uniformly in the national colours, assembled with Jamaicans residing in Canada who bonded with Team Jamaica in an expression of national unity.
Several hand held flags were waived in a flurry of patriotism while the contingent’s media outfit captured expressions of pride on camera and for print. The occasion was celebratory but reflections on the purpose of the journey and the business at hand introduced a solemnity which gave the ceremony greater meaning for Jamaica’s athletes.
Chef de Mission, Randolph Jones, led Team Jamaica into the International Zone where flag raising ceremonies at international and regional games are customarily held and after the flag was hoisted he presented Jamaica’s gift of the globally acclaimed Blue Mountain Coffee and an assortment of Jamaican spices to a representative of the Mayor who in turn handed him a replica of the 2015 Toronto Para Pan American torch.
Music, modern and cultural, and dances performed by youth to the sounds of generational hilts, characterized the ceremony in which Brazil and Bermuda were the other participating countries.
President Samuda summed up the mood: “The ceremony was a celebration of sport, its camaraderie, friendship and unifying influence and Team Jamaica embodied that expression”
Wayne and Heather Fullwood and Roger Shaw, Jamaicans residing in Canada, noticeably celebrated with the team and after the ceremony the festivity and social continued in the Chef de Mission’s office with the volunteers assigned to Jamaica who have become, in their words, “totally Jamaicanised”
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