Jamaican Paralympic Association President Christopher Samuda has described Paralympic Day as a milestone victory ©ANOC

Jamaican’s Paralympians have hailed the decision by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen to designate a specific day on to celebrate disability sport on the island.

In a message to coincide with celebrations which took place this week, Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) President Christopher Samuda insisted it would "forever be an affirmation of faith, hope and charity and a milestone victory".

Jamaica is the first nation in the Caribbean and Central America to proclaim such a day in honour of Paralympic sport, although International Paralympic Day will be celebrated later in the year in other parts of the world.

"Today we pray for infinite wisdom as we design the future for tomorrow's Para athletes who I have every conviction will continue the legacy of demonstrating remarkable character in making possible the impossible, and credible the incredible," Samuda said.

"We look deep and deeply into the present to unearth talent that waters, nurtures and sustains a movement of a people who are able and capable citizens in a society which must now come to terms with its disabilities.

Jamaica first took part in the 1968 Paralympic Games in Tel Aviv, two years after the foundation of the fledgling Jamaican Paraplegic Association.

Double Paralympic javelin gold medallist Alphanso Cunningham is an ambassador for disability sport in Jamaica © Getty Images
Double Paralympic javelin gold medallist Alphanso Cunningham is an ambassador for disability sport in Jamaica © Getty Images

Since then, they have won 20 gold medals although none came at the Games in Tokyo last year.

Neville Sinclair, who had first competed at the 1992 Paralympics in discus and javelin, had managed the team at the Tokyo Games.

"It’s really a great feeling, for this historic day will always be remembered by past and present athletes," Sinclair told the Gleaner newspaper in Kingston.

"I’ve been to at least 10 Paralympic games, equally as an athlete and coach, and this day brings greater joy and pride, and at the same time humility, as I look forward to celebrating it as an acknowledgement of our contribution to sports, sport development, and our society and a legacy that will live on forever."

Alphanso Cunningham, who won Paralympic javelin gold at Athens 2004 and London 2012, has become an ambassador for Paralympic sport. 

"It will cement our connection with the past greats who had set the trend which is inspiring tomorrow’s athletes, awesome day for us, awesome time for Jamaica," Cunningham said.

The day is set to be celebrated annually in Jamaica on March 11th.