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SVG leads in establishing Paralympic Committee

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Tue Apr 1, 2013

St Vincent and the Grenadines is set to take its place among the 200 member countries that form the International Paralympic Committee. The SVG National Paralympic Committee (SVGNPC) will champion the nation’s bid to join the Paralympic movement.{{more}} The initiative to form the SVGNPC was taken when Tony Durrant, a Vincentian residing in London, noticed the absence of Caribbean flags during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He commented:

“I am proud of my country and it was painful to find that our disabled athletes were absent from the games and denied the opportunity to compete in front of the rest of the world. I felt I had to do something about it.”

Consequently, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office was approached and supported the work to establish a National Paralympic Committee, which is a requirement if a nation is to send athletes to the games. The move was quickly supported by Keith Joseph, general secretary of the National Olympic Committee, Sports Minister Cess Mckie, and Janice McMaster, national director of SVG Special Olympics.

The NPC was formally constituted 13 March 2014 at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex. The meeting was facilitated by Joel O’Loughlin, representative of the Inspiration for All programme, which supported the development of the NPC. The fledgling committee included representatives of the National Olympic committee, Special Olympics, the SVG Sports Ministry, the SVG Anti-Doping Agency and reps from sporting clubs. The committee undertook to incorporate the body as a not-for-profit company and make a formal application to the International Paralympic Committee. The president elect, Rudolph T.A.Daniel, commented:

“We are determined to empower disabled people to take part in sport.

“My NPC team are highly committed people who are all convinced that the disabled community of St Vincent and the Grenadines have the ‘Ability to Win’.

“Thereafter, the NPC will adopt the slogan as our mantra for the NPC SVG: ‘ABILITY TO WIN’”

The first Paralympic Games were held in Rome, Italy in 1960 and featured 400 athletes from 23 countries. In 1976 Örnsköldsvik, Sweden staged the first Paralympic Winter Games. The Games are now the second biggest sporting event in the world. The vision of the IPC is:

‘To enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.’

The Paralympic Movement offers sport opportunities for athletes that have a primary impairment that belongs to one of the following 10 ‘eligible’ impairment types:

1. Impaired muscle power (e.g. muscles of one limb, one side of the body, the lower half of the body).

2. Impaired passive range of movement in one or more joint is reduced in systematical way.

3. Limb deficiency, where there is a total or partial absence of the bones or joints as a consequence of trauma (e.g. traumatic amputation, illness e.g. bone cancer, or congenital limb deficiency).

4. Leg length difference due to congenital deficiency or trauma, or bone shortening in one leg.

5. Short stature: Standing height is reduced due to aberrant dimensions of bones of upper and lower limbs or trunk.

6. Hypertonia, a condition marked by an abnormal increase in muscle tension and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch.

7. Ataxia, a neurological sign and symptom that consists of a lack of co-ordination of muscle movements (when the injury occurs in children under the age of 2, the term cerebral palsy is often used).

8. Athetosis – can vary from mild to severe motor dysfunction. It is generally characterised by unbalanced, involuntary movements of muscle tone and a difficulty maintaining a symmetrical posture.

9. Vision impairment where sight is impacted by either an impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves or optical pathways, or visual cortex of the central brain.

10. Intellectual impairment which the movement identifies as “a disability characterised by significant limitation both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills.”

The SVG National Paralympic Committee comprises: Rudolph T A Daniel (president Ayana Baisden (Vice president) Janice Mc Master (treasurer) Earl Painter (general secretary) Shirnan Jacobs (sports representative).

For information contact: Rudolph T.A. Daniel (rudi.daniel@gmail.com) (784 498 8277)

Janice Mc Master (janicejmcmaster@gmail.com/532-8525)

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