Former UPP senator reveals total inclusion of differently abled in sports high on party’s agenda

Team Antigua and Barbuda at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

There should be more inclusion of the differently-abled in the national plan for sports.

This is the view of former UPP politician and spokesperson for sports within the party, Chester Hughes, who said that a UPP government would put the necessary mechanisms in place to ensure the inclusion of the disabled in sports.

“In our last discourse prior to the elections, we made it clear that we believe that persons with disabilities should be included in the national sporting agenda and we will still push forward for that first national differently-abled games in Antigua and Barbuda where every sport would have persons with disabilities participate in a competitive way so that we could have them involved in our national sporting agenda,” he said. 

In March 2019, Antigua and Barbuda participated in the Special Olympics World Games held in Abu Dhabi, and won four medals at the one-week event.

Hughes said also that the collection and proper storing of statistics and data will be given priority by a UPP government.

“We don’t have a database so we have nothing to research and our athletes are still struggling to find who won this and who won that or who did this and who did that. We need to put the necessary database in place in order to assist researchers in finding out who won the premier division [football] in 1956,” he said.

“We need to increase the whole question of identifying our elite athletes from a young age and put them through the necessary training programme so that we could actually monitor and help them with their educational development and athletic ability from an early age and these are some of the UPP have as part of our agenda and will implement after the next general elections,” the former senator added.

The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party won 15 of the 17 seats contested in the 2018 general elections. Elections are constitutionally due in 2023. 

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