SCREEN STU­DENT ATH­LETES, OF­FI­CIAL DE­MANDS

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Paul Clarke Gleaner Writer

Of­fi­cial de­mands checks for med­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions

WEST­ERN BUREAU: ICE-PRES­I­DENT of the West­ern Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, Deon Wil­liams, is call­ing for strin­gent med­i­cal screen­ing for stu­dent ath­letes, fol­low­ing the death of Spot Val­ley High School bas­ket­ball player Say­mar Ram­say on Fri­day evening.

The 17-year-old sixth-form stu­dent and his team­mates were on their way home after con­test­ing an In­ter-Sec­ondary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion (ISSA) Un­der-19 bas­ket­ball game against Corn­wall Col­lege when he re­port­edly fell ill on the school bus.

He was rushed to the Corn­wall Re­gional Hospi­tal where, after be­ing re­vived for a short while, he was then pro­nounced dead min­utes after 7 p.m., plung­ing his team­mates, fam­ily and the school sports fra­ter­nity into deep mourn­ing. Re­ports are that he died from a heart at­tack.

“Some­thing is def­i­nitely wrong. Too many of our stu­dent ath­letes are dy­ing at games,” Wil­liams pointed out.

“The In­ter-Sec­ondary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion and all the schools must find a way to have these play­ers prop­erly and

Vcom­pletely screened for any un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion.” He con­tin­ued, “I am deeply sad­dened and wor­ried. My deep­est sym­pa­thies to his fam­ily and to Spot Val­ley High. We have lost a real tal­ent and great young man.”

Ram­say’s un­timely pass­ing comes on the heels of the sud­den death of St Ge­orge’s Col­lege foot­ball team cap­tain Do­minic James just weeks ago, who col­lapsed dur­ing a Man­ning Cup foot­ball game.

RE­STORE VIGOUR

Wil­liams rea­soned that care needs to be taken in re­gard to the ath­letes, many of whom, he said, are con­sum­ing en­ergy drinks, among other things, to re­store vigour fol­low­ing ex­er­tion on the field or court of play, with­out them un­der­stand­ing the med­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions in­volved.

“I wit­nessed play­ers ei­ther be­fore and some after a game, drink­ing these en­ergy drinks. I am sure that they are think­ing it’s noth­ing to be con­cerned about,” Wil­liams told The Sun­day Gleaner. “How­ever, I am cer­tain it has some­thing to do with some of these un­usual deaths.”

He warned, “It is un­known to us as adults, as well as to some of our chil­dren what med­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions they may have, and by con­sum­ing these bev­er­ages and, by the way, some smoke weed also, there is se­ri­ous med­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions in the end. We have to take a stand now or face more deaths.”

In the mean­time, El­fratio Re­mekie, bas­ket­ball na­tional co­or­di­na­tor, has of­fered con­do­lence to Ram­say’s fam­ily and the school.

He said a team from ISSA will be at the Spot Val­ley’s de­vo­tion to­mor­row morn­ing to of­fer sup­port in their time of grief.

I wit­nessed play­ers ei­ther be­fore and some after a game, drink­ing these en­ergy drinks. I am sure that they are think­ing it’s noth­ing to be con­cerned about.

Say­mar Ram­say

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