Former Coach of G.C. Foster College Male Football Team.
Former National Football Coach
Played on the National U19 Football Team
First FIFA referee to come out of G.C. Foster College
Former Junior National Track & Field Coach and presently a senior National Track & Field Coach
Coach of St. Jago High School
Coach of Yohan Blake (100M World Champion)
Former Coach of St. Mary High School for football, cricket, and Track & Field
Coached Nicole Mitchel, World Junior Champion in 1990
Coached Percival Spencer to the NCAA Championship for 3 years, who then represented Jamaica in the Olympics, Percival was the third 100 M sprinter to run under 10 seconds Coach of the record breaking 4 X 400 team from St. Jago
Coached Yohan Blake (100m world Champion), Riker Hylton, Adolphus Nevers, Andre Walsh – Members of the first school to run sub-40
Fresh off a personal-best run in her last 100-metres outing, Olympian Sashalee Forbes will be looking to make further improvements when she faces a high-quality field at tomorrow's Muller Anniversary Games IAAF Diamond League stop in London.
Forbes, who will be returning to London next month to represent Jamaica in the 200m after crossing the line in first place at the National Senior Championships recently, will be making her Diamond League debut inside the London Olympic Stadium with several of the world's top names in the event listed to compete as well.
This will in fact be the G.C. Foster College student's first appearance on the European circuit, but it could hardly have been a tougher start to her experience with compatriot Elaine Thompson the double Olympic sprint champion heading a special group of sprinters brought together in London for what is a sort of World Championships teaser.
Thompson, who has already signed in with a 10.71-second run this season, will also be joined by fellow members of the sub-11 club for 2017 Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers (10.95), Trinidadian Michelle-Lee Ahye (10.82), Murielle Ahoure (10.83) from Cote d'Ivoire and American Morolake Akinosun (10.98).
It's a group that the less celebrated Jamaican will be eyeing and one she will most likely need to join if she is to really turn heads tomorrow.
Despite running faster than she has ever managed in her short career, with a 11.10-second clocking, Forbes could only manage a fifth-place finish in the 100m at trials, meaning that like it was at the Rio Olympics last year where she ran in the heats, she should be named to Jamaica's 4x100m relay pool for the World Championships.
Best Ever Shape
Forbes was also in personal-best shape in the 200m at the National Championships, crossing the line in 22.71 to take top spot and secure her place in the event at Worlds.
A strong performance against a world-class field tomorrow would do her confidence a world of good and show just how ready she is for top-class international competition.
Encouragingly, Forbes has recorded personal best times in her last two 100m assignments, and with big names all around her tomorrow, has a good opportunity to keep that trend going.
The women's 100m will be contested over two rounds with the heats, which get under way at 12:35 p.m. (6:35 a.m. Jamaica time) to be followed by the final, which faces the starter at 2:40 p.m. (8:40 a.m).
Ronda Whyte, the Mauricio Wilson-coached athlete defied the odds, creating a major upset to win the finals of the Women's 400m hurdles and be crowned new National champion.
She came into the final as a ranked outsider, as the event included three finalist at last year's Olympic Games, in Janieve Russell, Ristananna Tracy, and Leah Nugent. The experienced Kaliese Spencer was also in the mix.
Whyte, who has never broken 54 seconds before coming into the Championships, only had a personal best of 55.58 seconds done last year. However, in the first round of the event on Friday, she showed signs that she was ready for something special. Running out of lane one, she finished strongly for second behind Russell in a then personal best of 54.93 seconds, the first time going sub-55 seconds in her career.
PLAGUED BY INJURIES
An athlete who has been plagued by injuries since her days at Maggoty High and G.C. Foster College, Whyte shocked the fair-sized crowd on Friday night, as despite not being in the pack early, she made a decisive move very late to score a runaway win in the end in a new impressive life best of 54.29 seconds, which put her at number six on the IAAF World Top list.
Naturally, she was very pleased with her performance and was over the moon when she spoke to The Gleaner minutes after her biggest achievement so far in her career. "This victory is sweet," she said. Asked about her race strategy going into the final, her reply was: "My plan was just to attack the hurdles and finish strong. I was very confident of doing well as I was motivated by my run in the first round," she said.
"Injuries had slowed me down over the years and once I knew that I was injury free, I was very confident of doing well as I never gave up. You don't know when it is your time, and once you work hard anything, is possible," she continued.
"Being National champion means a lot to know that I competed among the best and came out victorious. This is to show you that you should never give up and don't stop doing what you are doing because one day, you will succeed," she said.
Coach Wilson weighed in on his charge's success, saying: "I am happy for her performance having watched her in training. I told her she was just as good as her training partner and she could win. She is very disciplined and a committed athlete. I am also happy that she is one of the athletes we developed at GC Foster College."
Introduction The GCF Welfare programme, which is considered to be a social effort on the part of the staff, was designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of not only our own staff in their time of need but also of people in need within our community. This programme committee is spearheaded by Mrs. Leodis Douglas, HR Director with other members of the committee drawn from all categories of staff.
Projects Our first major project was implemented in December 2016 when staff members were encouraged to contribute to the Non-perishable Gift Box to be presented the Strathmore Gardens Children’s Home in the Community. The second major project undertaken by the team was executed on July 24, 2017, where a presentation was made to a family within the community whose only bread winner, the father, is stricken with terminal cancer. The GCF Welfare Programme will continue to help members of the surrounding community and so fulfill its social obligation.
Adean Thomas (left) of Jamaica catches the ball ahead of Sabreena Smith of Barbados during the third and final game of their three-Test series inside the National Areana on Monday night. (Photo: Collin Reid)
Likethe deejay on the microphone, when it comes to the Sunshine Girls, Adean Thomas is the vibes master. One who gets the 'greatest motivation' from her teammates, Thomas is full of energy and has a way of transferring it to the Jamaica senior national netball team.
“Before a match when we're at the house (Netball House), I always make a little vibe with them; either we dance, we sing or something, and everyone's like, 'Adean, I feed off your energy, so if you don't have the energy I won't have any,'” she admitted.
“So I'm always motivating them to the best. So when I step on the court and they throw away the ball or miss a shot, I'd say like 'Come on Thristina (Harwood), come on Carla' … like what happened in the second game when we blew out Barbados, because I was always motivating everyone on the court,” she added.
“That's what they love about me. And once I motivate them and I see them trying, that motivates me more to do great things.”
Thomas brought much of that energy to the Jamaica-Barbados three-Test series at the National Arena which ended on Monday night in a one-all draw. The teams tied the first game 44-44 on Friday, Jamaica won the second 40-34 on Sunday and then lost the third 41-43 on Monday night.
A fighter who leaves it all on the court, Thomas had one reason to smile on Monday night as she won the award for being the Best Centre throughout the series.
With its top players competing in the ANZ and England Super League, Jamaica included some Under-21s preparing for netball's World Youth Championship in Botswana to add numbers to the senior Sunshine Girls.
Contrastingly, Barbados had their Netball World Cup squad and the benefit of longer preparation as they are aiming for ranking points towards 2018 Commonwealth Games qualification.
Still, the Jamaicans, the world's number four-ranked country, are ruing the fact that they lost the match against the world number 12-ranked team.
As the series was accepted at short notice, Thomas believes incorporating the younger national reps in training with the seniors on an ongoing basis could alleviate such pitfalls.
“With the Under-21s thrown into the senior team, I think they should step up everyone and just work with them so that when other tournaments come around and we're short of players everyone will be ready. I think they need to do that fill in some of the U-21 players in the senior team because there's not a lot of us on the senior team, the experienced players,” reasoned Thomas.
“So we'll work with the Under-21 players, let them go to tours, get experience so that when these series come around we won't have to be picking up persons like a week before and be trying to work with them,” she continued.
“But it was a good series; everyone did their best. We lost tonight, but it's something we have to go to the drawing board and work on and just make sure that Barbados doesn't beat us again, or even tie the series, because we're ranked number four and they're ranked number 12.
“I wanted to win, but it's hard luck. I know we'll get them back next time.”
That could be the Caribbean championships later this year. Thomas has represented Jamaica against regional opponents in the past, but at the Under-16 and Under-13 levels where the Jamaican teams were successful.
She has also played for Jamaica at Under-21s and won bronze at the Youth Netball World Championship in Glasgow, Scotland.
At club level, Thomas, 22, won the Berger Elite League with St Ann Orchids. She has also represented Up Park Camp, the established Waulgrovians, and GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport where she is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree.
Prior to the Angels-based institution, Thomas attended St Hugh's High and Rollington Town Primary. It is while attending the latter that she got involved in the sport.
“I was doing track and field, and when I was in grade five I had PE classes in netball and the coach thought I was a good player and from then I started playing netball,” reminisced Thomas, who feels great pride representing her country.
“It feels good to me because I've never had this opportunity at the senior level. My first tour was last year September and representing Jamaica means so much to me and my family,” she said. “Whenever I step on the court I represent to the best, like you've seen throughout this series against Barbados.”
Her initial senior Sunshine Girls tour took her to New Zealand last year, then onto England where Jamaica won the Vitality series. Now Thomas is creating her own vibe as she aspires returning to both countries on a professional contract.
“I've a few things that I need to work on in order to be a good centre court player or the best player in Jamaica. But my aim is to reach ANZ and that's my dream. I work hard every day at training. Even if I'm not feeling it, I always put my best foot forward, no matter what,” she expressed.
“They have the highest level of skills in the ANZ, or the Super League in England, so that's why I am trying to fix my skills, work on the things I need to work on, watch a lot of videos and see how their players move the ball around, get down the court, what are they doing differently from the Jamaicans, and try to incorporate that into my training, my little training that I have, because I do other things on the side. I not only come to the national training and try to get work done,” Thomas pointed out.
“I was called to the England Super League but things didn't work out. I'm sure I'll get another opportunity to go there, but everything takes time, so I'm just sitting, waiting patiently, working hard on what I need to fix and hoping someone out there will see me.