The Jamaica Paralympic Association and the Jamaica Surfing Federation in a historic move have joined hands in opening the doors in surfing for the entry of para-athletes to excel in the sport and become national ambassadors for Jamaica.
Two para-athletes, Nathaniel Bailey and Toto Campbell, are now in California competing in the 2021 Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championship hosted by Ampsurf and are demonstrating that despite only taking up the sport less than two months ago they are naturally talented and achieving what may have seemed impossible. Both have qualified for the second round of the competition and are confident.
Commenting on the historic berth, president of the Jamaica Paralympic Association, Christopher Samuda, said, “history has been made through a dynamic partnership of two sporting associations that are both committed to developing talent, encouraging excellence and making more able and capable those who society perceives to have challenges”.
The Jamaica Paralympic Association has been, over the last three years, aggressively going into several sports as it pursues its policy of “creating opportunities and building capacity”.
Having successfully transitioned para taekwondo and para judo to the pinnacle of para-sports — the Paralympic Games — President Samuda is optimistic about the future: “Our model is self-motivating and self-inspiring but we believe strongly in solid partnerships that will drive success and thanks to Billy Wilmot, president of the Jamaica Surfing Federation, and Icah Wilmot, a regional household name in the sport, we are transitioning talented surfers who hopefully will attain the coveted distinction of becoming Paralympians in Paris.”
The Jamaica Paralympic Association, as it looks towards the 2024 Paralympic Games, will be launching early next year its campaign described as “Go for Paris” with its primary aim being to achieve qualification and be competitive in at least five sports at the games in the French capital.