JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Getting round has become easier for decorated Paralympian Sylvia Grant now that she has a new motorised wheelchair.
  • The gift from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) replaced the manual device she has had for the last 10 years.
  • It came just days before she was conferred with the insignia of the Order of Distinction by the Government of Jamaica, for outstanding contribution to sports.

Getting round has become easier for decorated Paralympian Sylvia Grant now that she has a new motorised wheelchair.

The gift from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) replaced the manual device she has had for the last 10 years.

It came just days before she was conferred with the insignia of the Order of Distinction by the Government of Jamaica, for outstanding contribution to sports.

An elated Sylvia Grant says she was most surprised and happy to learn of this gift from the KSAC and Local Government Ministry.

“When they called and told me that I’m getting a chair, I said ‘wow’, I was so happy,” Ms. Grant tells JIS News.

“This one now, I don’t have to push it, I just press a button and I go anywhere,” she gushes.

Deputy Mayor, Andrew Swaby, says the donation forms part of the KSAC’s commitment to supporting the disabled community and providing access for all its citizens.

“We are always interested in the welfare and well-being of all our citizens and we are happy to partner with the Ministry of Local Government in this special donation to Sylvia,” he says in an interview with JIS News.

He adds that the KSAC has had a longstanding relationship with Ms. Grant and wants to continue celebrating her significant achievements and dedication to the disabled community and the country.

“We gave her the Key to the City in 2013, and we wanted to use this to celebrate her recognition with the Order of Distinction,” he says.

On Monday, October 20, Miss Grant was among 233 Jamaicans, who were honoured for their outstanding contribution to nation building through service in various fields, at the National Honours and Award ceremony at King’s House.

Ms. Grant tells JIS News that she is grateful and happy for the National Honour.

“I am so, so happy. After 25 years in sports, I love this one,” she says.

The most decorated Jamaican female Paralympian in recent history, Ms. Grant has represented Jamaica at more than 15 international athletics events and has amassed over 20 medals. She cites the 1988 Paralympics in Korea as her best moment on the international scene. It was also her first international event.

“I got three silver medals and the best one was the pentathlon. I had to do five events – discus, javelin, shot put, the 200 metres and 1500 metres (so) that was my best Olympics,” she says.

She trains very hard and says she tries never to miss a session with the team at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre in St. Andrew.

“We have a compound at Mona Rehab where we do gym work and then we go out to the field where we do our training,’ Ms. Grant explains.

She welcomes the recent passage of the Disabilities Act in Parliament as “a great thing” for the disabled community.

“I feel good about that…the Government is doing a good job for people with disabilities,’ she adds.

She says she would love to see more members of the disabled community being employed and are able to care for themselves and their families.

In the meantime, Ms. Grant says this recognition from the Government is another motivation for members of the disabled community.

“When I came to Mona Rehab, everyone was hugging me and kissing me and saying ‘congrats you deserve it girl’; I feel so good,” she relates.