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McCullough meets Midlands Paralympic team


US Athletics Council chairman Jon McCullough is scheduled to meet the triumphant Midlands Paralympic team in Gweru on Wednesday morning for a mini-workshop on the challenges and opportunities in sport for the disabled.

The veteran sports administrator who is also the vice-chairman of the US Olympic Committee leadership team for 2008-12 is in the country for a week-long visit. He has already conducted a two-day training workshop with the Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe which ended on Tuesday.

Soon after meeting Team Midlands which came out tops at the National Paralympic Games in Chinhoyi in April, McCullough is lined up for another engagement at the Gweru Memorial Library in the afternoon before he heads for Bulawayo for peacebuilding workshops.

A letter from the US Embassy Public Affairs Section addressed to the Midlands deputy provincial education officer Lemon Shumba confirms that McCullough is scheduled to meet Team Midlands which amassed 29 gold, 15 silver and 17 bronze medals at the Paralympic Games.

“The embassy will also programme McCullough in Bulawayo and we are keen to stop in Gweru to engage with the Gweru-based Paralympic team.

“McCullough has a disability and has experience in working with the disabled, including implementing the programme with groups of youths in the former Yugoslavia who were disabled in the war. We are proposing Wednesday, June 22 from 10:30am to 1pm for a programme with the Paralympic team,” read part of the letter.

He is expected to share his vast experience with physically-challenged athletes with Team Midlands which already boasts double Paralympic gold medallist Elliot Mujaji who is athlete/coach in the team.

McCullough played for the US Paralympic soccer team for 12 years and competed in the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

Among various sporting organisations he has served within the Olympic and Paralympic movement, McCullough was the athlete coordinator for the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He was a volunteer at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and keynote speaker for Fifa’s Football for Hope Youth Initiative at the tournament.

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