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PARALYMPICS: CALL FOR GREATER AWARENESS

Ricky-Deane Alexander is calling for greater awareness of Paralympic Sports generally here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Alexander, a Special Olympics trainer, a qualified swimming coach and a graduate of university level training in Physical Education in Hungary, was the coach of swimmer Dexroy Crease, who became the first Paralympian from SVG when he competed in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, 24 August 2021 – 5 September 2021.

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“First things first – Paralympics is not just about swimming; it involves as many sports that are played internationally; it is a big thing worldwide,” Alexander shared.

He was quick to explain that training plays a major part in preparing the athletes and called for more coaching education as it relates to Paralympic Sports.

“A parent might have a child who they might not consider as someone who can do well in the sports.  But look at Dexroy Crease – he was assessed as physically challenged – an S9 classification – but it also caters to the intellectual, sensory challenged persons who all have to be classified,” Alexander referenced.

“What we also need in the Caribbean is to get more local doctors trained to do the assessment of our challenged athletes,” he added.

“At the moment we have to go outside to assess these athletes. I am of the view once we get that training for the doctors it will give more persons an opportunity to compete…… and the  Caribbean could then organize their own championships,” the coach projected.

Alexander offered a word of caution when it came to coaching Paralympians, saying, “They (athletes) are different in their own way and need more attention, so the coaches need to be more patient.  Remember the athletes come with different challenges.”

Alexander continues to work Paralympian Dexroy Crease who, having tasted international competition, has his eyes set on competing at that level for some time to come.

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