Coach Forde expects big things from Immaculate at Champs
BOOSTED by a strong contingent of athletes in Class Two, Three, and Four, Immaculate Conception High School Head Coach Franz Forde is setting his sights on making a massive impact at the 2024 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association Girls’ Championships.
Immaculate, known for being one of the most consistent Corporate Area Girls schools, demonstrated a commendable performance at last year’s championships, securing a seventh-place finish in the standings with 94 points. Hydel claimed the championships with a total of 279 points.
Forde told the Jamaica Observer that while his team may lack the depth needed to win the championships this year, they are certainly aiming to put on a strong display for their supporters.
“Our mantra is ‘The impossible is nothing.’ And you know the Boys’ and Girls’ Championships is a numbers game, and we are not there with the numbers yet but we definitely will be there,” said Ford. “Our goal is always to go out there and ruffle some feathers at the championships in March,” he added.
Forde acknowledged that two of their most senior athletes, Essence Burbridge and Juliet Smith, have moved on to universities abroad. Despite this, he expressed quiet confidence that other athletes will step up this year.
“We achieved some national rankings and national performances last year, and the truth is that every coach’s aim is to surpass the previous year’s achievements. It is just for the girls to stay healthy and we’ll go out there and do what we know we can do,” he expresse.
With some athletes gone to universities, Ford sees it as a positive development, aligning with their overall objective. He mentioned having a young squad with notable representation in classes four, three, and two, expressing anticipation for a successful season.
Immaculate created a significant surprise in Class Four last year when Kayla Johnson and Naje Brown secured a one-two finish in the final of the 100m event.
Ford said his athletes have been training diligently this season and that the team, including his coaching staff, has been focused on the task ahead.
“The girls have been working extremely hard — and the beauty of everything is that it’s not just the girls but my coaching staff who have been doing a wonderful job,” Ford said.
“One of the main things that we have always told the girls is that last year is last year, so it’s about focusing on what we have this year. The season has just started and we know exactly where the girls are. It’s just for them to believe in what they can accomplish so I am looking forward to whatever the girls can put out there,” he told the Observer.