Sport

Special Attention

RJR Foundation to give Paralympians improved conditions at Sports Awards ceremony

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer Senior reporter wlaker@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 13, 2013    

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FOLLOWING last year's challenges faced by Paralympians attending the RJR Sports Foundation's National Sportsman and Sportswoman ceremony the Foundation will be making changes in an attempt to rectify the problems at the next ceremony set for January 10 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

Last year, no provisions were made for easy access to the stage for the Special Olympians which proved problematic and which drew the ire of persons attending the function.

Gary Allen, chairman of the RJR Sports Foundation, organisers of the event, speaking yesterday at the media launch of the 2013 Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year awards, said arising out of consultations over the year, the board's review of the last year's function, and other assessments, the firm decision was taken to deal with the problem.

"We are aware of the fact of how some things have gone in the past, and among the changes we will have to change is the area where the athletes walk to receive their awards on stage," said Allen to a question raised by photographer Collin Reid at on behalf of the Paralympians.

He continued: "One of the areas of challenges has been the proliferation of photographers who sometimes lie down, sit down, bend down right at that area," Allen said.

He then formally announced that for for next year's ceremony an accreditation process will be put in place.

"There will be a change to that and there will be accreditation of photographers for the event and who will be designated to access in certain areas of the hotel. And there will also be an area after the event where as much photographs can be taken."

Allen also praised his team and members of the selection committee Mike Fennell, Courtney Walsh, Molly Rhone, Grace Jackson, Carole Guntley, Michael Hall, Courtney Sergeant, Tony Becca, Yvonne Wilks, and Dr Walton Small.

"I would like to welcome back and thank the board of the RJR Sports Foundation for its continued sterling work. As a board, I must thank you the members for the contribution that you continue to make," said Allen.

"This function signals the kick off, the starting gun, opening bowler as we move to the end of the function on the 10th of January," he added.

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