Pembroke Hall rolls out sports programme
In an effort to improve its sporting prowess, Pembroke Hall High yesterday rolled out a programme to become a lot more competitive and visible in Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-run competitions.
Principal Rev Claude Ellis, told The Gleaner that he will be pumping a lot of resources into the school's sports programme as they plan to compete in more sporting disciplines next year.
Among those at the launch of the programme were 2011 World 100 metres champion Yohan Blake and Fitz Coleman, who took over recently as the head coach of the Pembroke Hall track and field team. Coleman is also the coach of Olympic 110m hurdles bronze medallist Hansle Parchment.
"For a few years, our school did not participate in ISSA competitions. Last year, under the leadership of the then acting principal, we restarted, but we now need to greater establish our sports programme," said Rev Ellis.
"We are also expanding the programme for other students who want to do other (less popular) sports such as table tennis, swimming and basketball," he said.
"We think that sports can be used to rebuild the culture of Pembroke Hall High School so that we can stave off some of the negative stigma that is associated with us," he said.
Ellis added that the presence of Blake at yesterday's launch has certainly helped to lift morale among the students.
"We are very delighted to have Yohan with us, and we want to thank him for coming, and I am sure the young people are inspired by what he has said, and they will now know that they can achieve their goals even if they are not the most brilliant in their school work," Ellis said.
Meanwhile, Blake, a former St Jago High star, said he was happy to offer words of advice to the student-athletes.
"I feel good that I am here to reach out to these students to take up sports because it can take them places and also to encourage them to focus on their academics," said Blake.