The Digicel Foundation has partnered with the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) to restore the paralympic basketball court at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston.
The foundation invested $10 million in the restoration of the basketball court. The funding was awarded as a part of the Digicel Foundation’s Special Needs Awareness campaign in October 2021, which included a call for applications from registered Special Needs organisations.
“This is our first major investment in the Jamaica Paralympic Association,” explained Charmaine Daniels, CEO of the Digicel Foundation. “We’ve partnered with them in the past on small projects and have been proud to have gold medallist, Alphanso Cunningham, as one of our Digicel Jamaica ambassadors. Now, it’s time for us to make a bigger investment in the team by ensuring that they have a safe and well-maintained space to train and play. This is just one of the ways we’re helping to create a world where no one gets left behind”
The work done includes resurfacing the dilapidated court, replacing the rotting wooden stands with a concrete structure, installation of a new perimeter fence, and painting the surrounding facility.
“Our athletes, over the years, have trained at this facility in the interest of national representation,” said Christopher Samuda, president of the Jamaica Paralympic Association.
He indicated, that while the Digicel Foundation has generously renovated the court, there is still more work to do to the adjacent clubhouse and gym. “We’re inviting sponsors to come in, refurbish the facility, and help us provide a state-of-the-art gym for our Paralympic athletes.”
Members of the association joined Digicel Foundation on Paralympic Day – March 11 – to finish and paint the stands and remove the old perimeter fencing. Alphanso Cunningham and coach Neville Sinclair were among the members to participate.
“This renovation will assist us tremendously in preparing for future competition, and with training our younger athletes,” said Cunningham. “Digicel Foundation is setting us back on track to start our basketball programme.”
Jamaica’s Paralympic team is expected to compete in its first international competition in July – a three-a-side basketball competition at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.
Persons interested in learning more about the JPA or donating to the team can visit www.jamaicaparalympic.com.