Feeder program delivering titles for Immaculate Prep – coach
Veteran Immaculate Conception Prep School coach Anthony Thomas, whose team retained the 2016 Milo Prep and Primary Schools Swimming Championships title last Saturday at the National Aquatics Centre, credits the school's feeder programme for their success.
Many-time-champions Immaculate were crowned overall champions with a total of 459 points, ahead of Wolmer's Prep - who topped the boys' section - with 375 points, while Mona Prep were third with 350 points, Sts Peter and Paul Prep (348) fourth, and St Hugh's Prep (291) fifth.
In the primary schools section, Windward Road Primary and Jessie Ripoll, on 22 points each, tied for first.
"We try to get them from kindergarten and build these young swimmers from scratch every year and teach them the basics of how to swim and to excel," said Thomas, who has coached at the institution for over 20 years and copped numerous titles with the institution.
"If Immaculate wins, we do not make headlines. It is expected only if we lose. In terms of trophies, swimming is our main sport next to tennis," he continued.
"It is not as easy as it looks, and it takes a lot of time to teach them from the very basics and to prepare them. Luckily, we are blessed with the kindergarten programe and that's the nursery. I am proud of the work the team has put in again this year," he told The Gleaner.
Thomas said he is expecting the school to win again next year, noting that seasoned swimmers will go and new ones will fit into the programme.
"Every year the grade six goes, so we have to rebuild each year. Six and under contributed a High Point trophy and 11-12 gave good conduct," he added.