The Ministry of Sport and Community Development joins the globe in celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Sunday.
A statement issued on Saturday recognised the stalwart sporting contributions of this nation’s para-athletes.
The ministry highlighted the achievements of standout field athlete Akeem Stewart, who recently won his third gold medal at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Chile.
“Akeem Stewart’s extraordinary feats in javelin and discus throwing, serve as inspiration for people with disabilities in Trinidad and Tobago.
It also recognised female T44 sprinter Nyoshia Cain-Claxton – who earned 100m bronze at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.
“Nyoshia Cain-Claxton, an outstanding para-athlete, not only brought pride to our nation but also dismantled barriers and dispelled stereotypes about disability in sports,” the statement read.
Additionally, Paralympic swimmer Shantol Ince came in for high praise. Ince, the release said, “inspire(s) us with her unwavering commitment to sporting excellence, surpassing perceived boundaries and showcasing the genuine strength of human potential.”
It also made special mention of TT’s athletes who represented at the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.
“Their stellar performance, securing numerous medals, not only brought glory to our nation but also testified to our dedication to an inclusive sporting environment.”
This year’s IDPD theme is: United in action to rescue and achieve the sustainable development goals for, with and by persons with disabilities.
It emphasises the collective efforts required to ensure the well-being and empowerment of individuals with disabilities, which aligns with TT’s commitment to fostering an inclusive sports community.
The sports ministry said the nation’s para-athletes continue to exemplify the spirit of triumph over adversity.
These triumphs, it read, align with the core principles of their national policy on sport, which emphasises “sport for development” and “development of sport.”
“The ministry’s commitment to using sports as a catalyst for positive societal change is evident in our pursuit of equal opportunities for all, regardless of ability.
"Beyond medals, the journey of para-athletes and Special Olympians is a narrative of overcoming challenges, embracing diversity, and fostering unity.
"Their performances inspire both the sporting community and the broader population, reinforcing that disability is not a limitation but a unique characteristic that strengthens our collective narrative."
The statement concluded that the ministry is “dedicated to supporting para-athletes, fostering an environment for their talents to flourish.”
“On the IDPD, let’s unite in celebrating the triumphs of our para-athletes and Special Olympians, recognising them as ambassadors of strength and resilience. Together, we can continue building a society where everyone can actively participate, contribute, and succeed regardless of ability.”