St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will take a plunge into the 2021 Paralympic Games, set for Tokyo, Japan, from 24th August to 5th September.
Set to make the historic move and participate in the Games, is amputee- Dexroy Creese, a resident of Campden Park.
Creese will be the country’s wild card in Swimming, where he will compete in 50m and 100m Freestyle events.
Before heading off to Japan, Creese will journey to Berlin, Germany this Sunday, to participate in the World Para Swimming Series.
Apart from competing in Germany, Creese will be assessed and classified as a Para-athlete.
He was set to go to Italy in April, however, the eruptions of the La Soufriere volcano thwarted that plan.
Creese has been under the guidance of Swim Coache- Rickydene Alexander and Kyle Dougan, as he prepares for his maiden outings.
Happy to be part of the Paralympics, Creese said, “I am proud to represent my country as a Paralympic swimmer … I am feeling so good that I have this opportunity, so that I can be a role model for other people.”
While he might be considered being new to Swimming, Creese is somewhat of a national figure, as he performs on stage with soca artistes during the annual Carnival celebrations.
He is far from being daunted by his restriction and is an ardent footballer, participating in the annual South Leeward Inter-Village Football Competition, using his crutch as his support.
“I am asking everyone to give me the full support… I am asking everyone who is an amputee, don’t let that keep you down… You can be anyone who you want to be,” he appealed.
President of the National Paralympic Committee, St Vincent and the Grenadines- Rudi Daniel, is pleased that his organisation has been able to hurdle some of the challenges, and get someone to the Paralympic Games.
Chronicling the “ups and downs”, Daniel said that before the unearthing of Creese, several persons had been identified, but they were unable to stay the course.
“We used to have a person in Athletics, but she has dropped out … We had a double prosthesis, but he was off and on, and there was a swimmer from Bequia, but we could get the proper documentation for him from his school… We had another who went to the Parapan American Games in Peru in 2019, he was a good swimmer, but he doesn’t really want to do it again,” Daniel revealed.
Daniel disclosed that other efforts to recruit para athletes, including taking prospective athletes on cultural visits, but they have lost interest.
Undaunted by the ‘stop–start’, Daniel said that his organisation is not relenting on its recruitment process.
“We are already looking for people… What we have done is connecting up with the other organisations which serve the people with disabilities and let them know that we are there for the sport,” Daniel emphasised.
Daniel is hopeful that through the opportunity afforded to Creese, that others will be enthused to follow suit.