St George's College mourns - ISSA responds to student's death
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."