Immaculate athletics programme benefits from Express Canteen sponsorship
(From left) Brigette Pinto, vice principal Immaculate Conception High School, technical director and head coach ICHS track and field programme Franz Forde, athletes Ali Bell, Niara McLeod, Kayla Bonner, David Steele, Director, Express Canteen Services Limited, Simone Foster, Director, Express Canteen, and Raymond Allen, Canteen Manager, ICHS, Express Canteen, during the Express Canteen's cheque handover at ICHS on Friday, January 27, 2023.

Citing recovery and nutrition benefits, among other things, Immaculate Conception High School’s track and field lead personnel expressed appreciation to Express Canteen Services Limited for sponsoring the institution’s athletics programme.

Speaking at the Constant Spring-based school’s Summer House following Express Canteen’s $250,000 contribution in-between training on Friday, Juliet Smith, the track and field team’s captain, said the donation will further serve their purpose of achieving excellence in competition, while highlighting the manner in which her team has gone about its preparation this season.

“I am grateful for the donation from Express Canteen. The money that we got will be used to help with our nutrition because that’s a very important part, our after care, we do a lot of work so it’s good to have after training to nourish our bodies,” she expressed.

Speaking further on the benefits, Smith pointed to the off-campus activities that are costly, but necessary to their development.

“The money will also be used to help fund our meals. Sometimes we go to a track meet and we’re there all day,” she said, going on to note the funding’s value to their cooling down and muscle relaxant recuperation routine.

“Nobody really likes an ice bath, but we have to do it. Our muscles need the aftercare so that we can come back the next day and work to the best of our abilities,” explained Smith. “The donation is going to help us buy the ice and properly sort the bath that we’re going to be in. That’s also helpful.”

The CEO of Express Canteen Services, Ryan Foster, expressed satisfaction at their continued contribution to the institution.

“This is the second time we are actually partnering with the Immaculate Conception High track team. The girls have made significant strides on the track and you can see it in the results from the last Champs held,” said Foster. “I remember head coach Franz (Forde) sharing his vision some years ago and we are seeing the fruit of hard work and dedication. Immaculate is dear to my heart and their previous Principal, Sister Angella, who died, was a special person to me.

“I am extremely happy to be associated with this institution of excellence and current Principal Mrs Reynolds, VP Pinto and the general staff are certainly doing a good job balancing education and sport,” he added.

“Express will continue to partner with all our stakeholders and we hope that this contribution will assist them tremendously in obtaining their objectives. We wish all our girls from the various schools that will be competing at Champs all the very best and hope that we continue to be the food partner of champions," Foster said.

Forde, who has been heading the school’s growing track and field programme for years, underlined the importance of Smith’s sentiments, saying: “Just want to say thank you to Express Canteen. The donation actually will definitely go a far way. My captain spoke highly of it.

“The recovery aspect of our training, (it) will definitely help with regards to that, so I want to say thank you,” Forde reaffirmed.

He went on to speak of the Immaculate High track and field team, noting that they have made progress.

“The team has been coming along quite well. We have a lot to give God thanks for. Looking forward to the continuation of the season. We’ve a couple more meets to go before Boys’ and Girls’ Championship. But after Boys’ and Girls’ Championship we’ll be focusing a lot on the preparation for junior championships (national) this year, so we definitely have to take into consideration the recovery aspect,” Forde assessed. “So the $250,000 definitely will go a far. Express Canteen, thanks again. And go Wolves!”

Smith also spoke of the team’s advance from the time they started laying the groundwork.

“I’m actually very proud of my team. When we first started out in the summer it was kind of like fun, getting back to the basics, doing a bunch of drills. But ever since we set our objectives and as September came we all just locked in. We did what we had to do, even though it was extremely grueling, and the sun is hot and we’re crying, we’re sweating, we’re still lifting the weights, we’re still running, we’re still jumping,” Smith shared.

“It can be still 7:30 (pm) and we’re still out there throwing the shot, throwing the discus, or around the long jump pit jumping. And we’ve some triple jumpers now so they’re tweaking their technique. It’s new to them,” she said. “So I’m just very proud.

“As a young team, I’m very proud of how we set a goal and how we’re working to achieve it. Not every day is perfect, but I like how we bounce back.”

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