St Ge­orge’s Col­lege mourns

ISSA re­sponds to stu­dent’s death

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

THE EX­EC­U­TIVE of the In­ter Sec­ondary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion (ISSA) is ex­pected to meet to­day to dis­cuss the way for­ward, af­ter yes­ter­day’s sud­den death of St Ge­orge’s Col­lege stu­dent Do­minic James dur­ing a Man­ning Cup foot­ball match.

James, who was the team’s cap­tain, col­lapsed ap­prox­i­mately four min­utes into yes­ter­day’s game against Ex­cel­sior High at Sta­dium East and was later pro­nounced dead at the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of the West Indies.

ISSA Pres­i­dent Dr Wal­ton Small, who ex­pressed shock and sad­ness at the young­ster’s pass­ing, sought also to ex­plain why there was no am­bu­lance sta­tioned at the venue and noted that the next set of Man­ning Cup fix­tures might be sus­pended, while the ex­ec­u­tive looks to en­sure suf­fi­cient sup­port for those af­fected by the tragedy.

“We want to ex­press con­do­lences to the fam­ily. I also want to ex­press con­do­lence to the St Ge­orge’s fam­ily, it’s re­ally a shock, and we are all in mourn­ing at this mo­ment,” Small told The Gleaner yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

“We (ISSA ex­ec­u­tive) were sup­posed to meet on Thurs­day, but I am look­ing to call an emer­gency meet­ing to­mor­row (to­day).

“I have not yet spo­ken to my peers, but there might be a mo­ment of si­lence at the up­com­ing matches. We will look at post­pon­ing the next set of Man­ning Cup matches, but again, I have not yet spo­ken to the ex­ec­u­tive,” added Small.

COUN­SELLING FOR STU­DENTS

“I know this is re­ally go­ing to take a toll. I have been touch­ing base with some of the prin­ci­pals, and we are look­ing to get to St Ge­orge’s to­mor­row (to­day) to share, and I am try­ing to get the Min­istry (of Ed­u­ca­tion) to bring in a few of their coun­sel­lors be­cause it’s go­ing to be a very tough mo­ment for ev­ery­one, there­fore, we are go­ing to make all ef­forts to en­sure peo­ple are there to of­fer some sup­port,” added Small.

Still, the fact that James was taken to hos­pi­tal in his father’s ve­hi­cle has again raised ques­tions about the in­ad­e­quate med­i­cal sup­port at lo­cal school­boy foot­ball games.

“We are aware. For ex­am­ple, we know there are a lot of matches be­ing played in this round, and even if you are to get all the am­bu­lances in Ja­maica at the venues, we would not have enough am­bu­lances, there­fore, what we en­cour­age the schools to do is to make ar­range­ments with the near­est hos­pi­tal or med­i­cal fa­cil­ity,” said Small.

“When we get to the sec­ond round when ISSA takes over (the run­ning of each game), be­cause th­ese (first round) matches are in the am­bit of the schools, we en­sure that we have am­bu­lances where pos­si­ble,” Small said. “At this level, it is im­pos­si­ble to have each school hav­ing an am­bu­lance at the field since we are play­ing so many matches.”

GLAD­STONE TAY­LOR/PHOTOGRAPHER

Mem­bers of the coach­ing staff of St Ge­orge’s Col­lege’s Man­ning Cup team and other sup­port per­son­nel carry Do­minic James off the Sta­dium East field af­ter he col­lapsed dur­ing his team’s match against Ex­cel­sior yes­ter­day. James later passed away.

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