In March 2022, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation joined forces with the Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) to better the paralympic basketball court, located in Kingston, for current and future community members and athletes.
The JPA was established in 2008 and used the recent J$10 million investment to make some major improvements to the facility, focusing on enhanced safety, functionality and usability. For example, the court was refinished, and sturdier spectator stands were put into place. Deteriorating, rotting wood was replaced with durable concrete, and the surrounding facility was freshly painted. A new exterior fence was also erected to create a welcoming environment.
This initiative is part of Digicel’s Special Needs portfolio. When the investment in the basketball court was announced, Charmaine Daniels, Chief Executive Officer of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation, touched on how something with a large-scale focus further propels the foundation forward in extending help at a global scale. “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.”
Similarly, the project builds off of the working relationship that Digicel and JPA have created and fostered. Alphanso Cunningham, Paralympic gold medallist and Digicel Jamaica ambassador, took part in the rebuild which was completed on March 11th for Paralympic Day. In reference to the renovated court he said, “This renovation will assist us tremendously in preparing for future competition, and with training our younger athletes. Digicel Foundation is setting us back on track to start our basketball programme.”
Moving forward, other volunteers like coach Neville Sinclair hope that continued support from sponsors will help deliver the very best to Paralympic athletes who are eager to compete and represent something larger than themselves. With continued, additional support, the Jamaica Paralympic team has been reaching new heights and, this past July, competed in their first international competition in Birmingham, UK. At the Commonwealth Games, over 70 nations and territories participated in competition against one another in 19 sports.