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A & B TO HOST WORLD SAILING’S PARALYMPIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Tuesday 16th October 2018

(St. John’s Antigua; October 15th, 2018) - Antigua and Barbuda, the sailing capital of the Caribbean will be the first Caribbean island to host World Sailing’s Paralympic Development Program set to begin on January 26, 2019.

An official invitation has been extended to Sailability Antigua to host the special program which assists in the development of national Para World Sailing training programs as well as support for Para World Sailors and their coaches through a number of dedicated performance clinics.

The Paralympic Development Program (PDP), which will run for two weeks at the National Sailing Academy in Falmouth, will see at least 24 persons from 6 countries around the world participating in the program with preference given to female sailors and/or youths under 19 years old.

The PDP will also pro­vide a plat­form to in­cor­po­rate the so­cial and cul­tur­al fea­tures of the island in­to the over­all tourist ex­pe­ri­ence; hence Antigua and Barbuda and more intrinsically the communities of Falmouth and English Harbour will not only benefit economically from such an event being hosted on the island,  but ath­letes and of­fi­cials will have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to es­tab­lish strong so­cial bonds and forge long last­ing so­cial con­nec­tions which will in turn deepen the ben­e­fits of tourism.

Sports Tourism Officer within the Ministry of Tourism, Ms. Karen Joseph says with Antigua and Barbuda being the first island in the region to host such an even it will be a major push in promoting the country as a destination for sports tourists with disabilities.

“Sports tourism is enjoying a rapid growth globally and sports tourists with disabilities often experienced barriers to sports tourism”, stated Ms. Joseph.

She further stated that it is her hope that with the program being held here it will change the mindset of youth living with disabilities in Antigua and Barbuda; that they can do anything despite their challenges.

Yachting, Cruise and Marine Development Officer within the Ministry of Tourism and Investment, Mr. Tanny Rose noted that his department along with the Ministry of Social Transformation is delighted to be involved and will be showing their support to the National Sailing Academy in the hosting of the Para Sailing Development Program.

Mr. Rose says Antigua and Barbuda is one of three countries worldwide that has an official program for sailors with disabilities and the Ministry of Tourism is elated and looking forward to welcoming all participants to the yachting and sailing capital of the region.

Parasailing was removed from the Paralympics ostensibly in 2015 because Parasailing did not meet the criteria laid out in the International Paralympic Committee Handbook's minimum criteria for worldwide reach.

Word Sailing which is the governing body of sailing has determined that they will develop a Para Sailing development program and are currently hosting the programs in different countries around the world in hopes of reversing the decision in time for the Paris 2024 PARA Olympics. 


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