Jamaica Paralympic Association gets prestigious International award

President of the Jamaica Paralympic Association Christopher Samuda (centre), admires the Paul Harris Fellow recognition certificate he received from the Rotary Club of St Andrew North. Looking on are: Joscelyn Jolly (left), past president of the Rotary Club of St Andrew North;  Annmarie Curtis, president, Rotary Club of St Andrew North; Suzanne Harris-Henry (second right), general secretary of the Jamaica Paralympic Association; and Dr Rory Dixon, director of the Jamaica Paralympic Association.

Jamaica is once again the talk of the town as the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) has received the prestigious international Paul Harris Fellow Award for its outstanding and sustained work with disabled athletes, who have won medals at Paralympic Games over the years.

JPA President Christopher Samuda accepted the award during a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of St Andrew North. The event was witnessed by JPA General Secretary Suzanne Harris-Henry and director Dr Rory by Dixon.

Samuda, who is also President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), identified both the JPA and JOA as instruments of change and transformation in sport. “I am cognizant of the revealing fact that we must bring to sport the game of life – change, real change that will lead to transformation,” said Samuda.

Samuda noted that the process of change must involve stakeholder education and stakeholder consensus and activation. “It must involve informed and decision-making processes across the board. Integrity of thought, transparency in action, accountability and the implementation of a viable national strategic and business plan,” he added. He said sports ethics and sport governance are ways to ensure that the right people are in the right jobs, while sport theology is a way to ensure that the right people understand and embrace the right way of doing what is right.

Paul Harris Fellow recognition is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905. The Paul Harris Fellow was established in his honour in 1957 to express appreciation for a contribution US$1,000 to the humanitarian and educational programs of The Rotary Foundation.