Veteran Paralympian Alphonso Cunningham and two newcomers, Shane Hudson and Dana-Gaye Weller, were announced as the three athletes that will represent Jamaica at the upcoming 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, from September 7-18.The announcement was made at a press briefing at the Jamaica Olympic Association yesterday.Cunningham, a former world record holder and many-time gold medallist, will compete in the discus and shot put F53 class. Hudson, a 400 metres silver medallist at last year’s World Championships, will be competing at his first Paralympics in the T47 class and will be aiming for gold, while Weller, who will compete in the F51 class in the club throw, will participate internationally for the first time.Coach of the team Neville Sinclair expects all three athletes to at least be on the medal podium.MEDAL EXPECTATIONS”My expectation is that they go there and do their best. We have two persons competing for the first time. Dana-Gaye should be in the final, and once she is in the final, we will take it from there. Shane should be on the medal podium, and based on training and his times, he should get no less than the gold, but at worse, he should finish with a silver,” he said.”Alphonso is the veteran. He has had some hiccups, but he should do himself proud, and I expect him to do well in the shot put and be on the podium. So what they have been doing, in training for the past months, they are going to show it at the Games,” he said.The rest of the delegation includes Javon Campbell (chef de mission), Lincoln Cox (team doctor), Edmund Jones (Paralympic attachÈ), Ann Marie Smith (administrative personnel), Rushane Sterling (massage therapist), Kevin Brown (Web master), Christopher Samuda (president), and Suzanne Harris-Henry (general secretary).Chef de mission Campbell is set to depart the island next Sunday, August 28, and will arrive in Brazil a day later. The team is due to arrive in Rio de Janeiro on August 31. The Games ends with the closing ceremony on September 18, with the team set to depart Brazil on September 20.CONTINUOUS MOTIVATIONSpeaking at the press briefing, Minister of Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said the Paralympians continued to motivate and inspire all Jamaicans.”I don’t know if you know what an inspiration you all are to our country! You have overcome so many challenges to be performing at such high levels. You demonstrate every day how to be bold when necessary, how to stare adversity in the face, and refuse limitations. Sometimes I put myself in your shoes and wonder if I could have done the things you have,” she said.”We are a small team, and we know you will do your best and you will be satisfied along with your family, coaches, and support team, and the entire nation,” Grange added.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A historic agreement has been reached between NUGAS Victoria and the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM).The agreement, which allows members of NUGAS Victoria to become automatic members of the GCM, is reflective of the Community’s ‘open door’ policy.“Today marks a watershed moment for the Greek Community of Melbourne,” said GCM president Bill Papastergiadis, who claims this agreement will further unify the organisations. “It will allow for greater collaboration and foster the development of the future leaders in our community,” he said.The agreement was officially announced yesterday during a meeting of the president of NUGAS Victoria, Tass Sgardelis, with a delegation of the newly-elected board of management, consisting of president Bill Papastergiadis, general secretary Costas Markos and directors Phillip Vassiliadis and Angela Georgalis.The agreement is the result of discussions between the two organisations which took place over the last couple of years, through a mutual desire to further strengthen their relationship.“I think it is very important for Greek Australian youth to get involved with the Greek Community and be aware of what is happening within the Community. We discussed at committee level the different ways to become actively involved and to work as partners and not work in isolation. We believe that the Greek Community is the most significant Greek organisation in Melbourne and we wish to work more closely in the future,” Mr Sgardelis said.GCM board member and former member of NUGAS Phillip Vassiliadis noted that with the completion of the Greek Centre, NUGAS must be engaged in more ways than simply using the building. “I was involved with NUGAS during my student years and then for a number of years I was not involved in any community organisations before I joined the GCM board,” said Mr Vassiliadis. He further noted that “such initiatives from Tass and the NUGAS board aim at bringing the Greek Community of Melbourne and NUGAS closer”. “Members can now actively participate in both organisations with the view that when they finish university and start their professional careers they can maintain engagement with the Greek Community, and I firmly believe that becoming members of the GCM is the best way to achieve this.”The importance of becoming a member of the Greek Community was underlined by newly-elected board member Angela Georgalis. “After university I felt some disconnection from the Greek community because I was not involved and I believe that there is now a way for me and young students and the younger Greek community to have a connection via the GCM. I think this way it will keep everyone in touch.”Costas Markos, GCM general secretary, described the agreement as a natural development, as NUGAS has been housed in the GCM building for more than 30 years. “It is a natural development for our students to become members of the Greek Community. This provides an opportunity for young people to engage with our organisation but also with the broader Greek community. We believe that with the continuation of the GCM programs and with the introduction of new initiatives the GCM will attract in the very near future young Greek Australian to positions of leadership.”He also underlined the fact that for the first time all the members of the GCM board of directors were born in Australia. “This is a tremendous achievement,” he noted in conclusion.