PWD independence swim meet seen as preparation for 2019 Paralympic Games
DPI, Guyana, Saturday, June 9, 2018
The annual Persons With a Disabilities (PWD) Independence swim meet is being touted as preparation for athletes who may qualify for the 2019 Paralympic Games to be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The local event which is in its twenty-third year was organised by the National Sports Commission (NSC). Held at the Colgrain Swimming Pool, Camp Street, the participants were eager to display their abilities despite their physical challenges.
Participating schools included Diamond Special Needs School, Open Door Centre, Gifted Hands, David Rose Special School, HB, Davis Special School and St. Barnabas Special School.
Director of Sports Christopher Jones who opened the event said it is important that everyone has equal opportunity, access to resources and education among other necessities.
“We wanted to ensure that there is a level playing field and we see the involvement in games like these here,” Jones said.
He also indicated that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) provided funding for persons with disabilities to travel regionally and internationally to compete in various sporting events. He made reference to Walter Grant-Stuart, who recently copped a gold medal at UCI Para-Cycling in Montreal, Canada.
“That in itself is a testimony to what these athletes with disabilities can achieve like anyone else once the opportunity is provided to them. That is why the sports commission is assuring that these activities happen and ensure that the various schools across the country that caters for persons with disabilities participate in these activities” Jones explained.
Sports Organiser attached to the NSC Wilton Spencer said he hopes to see the youths progressing in their individual events.
“We really want to see the athletes with disabilities develop so that there will come a time when they become eligible to represent Guyana at the Special Olympics.”
Come next year, Spencer said that he is looking forward to a much larger turnout from the various schools.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite.
Images: Jameel Mohamed.