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ISSA extends help to grieving Godfrey Stewart team

Published:Sunday | April 3, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Dr Walton Small

Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

The Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) has moved to the assistance of members of the Godfrey Stewart High school track and field team at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, who have been affected by Wednesday night's tragic death of their 15-year-old teammate Tia Murray.

Murray, who won gold, silver and bronze medals at the recent Western Relays in Montego Bay, decided against travelling with the team to 'Champs' and is reported to have committed suicide shortly after 10 o'clock on Wednesday night.

Deep sympathy

ISSA president, Dr Walton Small, expressed deep sympathy for those who were close to the youngster and advised that his organisation has reached out to the camp in assistance.

"I want to express condolence to the Godfrey Stewart family for the loss of the student and we just want to extend our prayers to the family and friends, we know this must be a very tough period for them," said Small.

"Since the incident, we have met with the students and given them an opportunity to talk; they cried, they hugged and we tried to encourage them and at the end of that counselling session we felt comfortable that they could manage until the morning," Small added.

Received support

Small, also pointed out that ISSA has also made contact with the Ministry of Education and have also received support from several counsellors who have been assisting in lifting the spirit of the athletes and coaches.

"We made contact with the Ministry of Education and some guidance counsellors from Wolmer's and they got in touch with the members of the team and were satisfied that the children were improving. They will have other sessions with them to assess their situation," Small noted.

Murray was found suspended by the length of a telephone cable from the limb of a mango tree in the community of Gully Bank, Westmoreland. It is not clear what could have driven her to such action as relatives stated that she showed no signs that she was having any problems.