A warning from the sad passing of Rushane Ricketts

Saturday, August 02, 2014

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IN the midst of life there is death.

At a conscious or unconscious level, human beings are all aware of that, that is, once they are old enough or intellectually able to know.

Yet death never fails to break our stride; to leave us disconsolate. The blow becomes even more devastating when the departed is young -- a promising life as yet unfulfilled.

This newspaper has gone down this road as we contemplate the sudden death earlier this week of promising 17-year-old footballer Mr Rushane Ricketts. We are told he was training with the Jamaica College football squad, with a view to possibly joining that great school in September, when tragedy struck.

Mr Ricketts was relaxing with his mates after a training session at a summer training camp at St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz when he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to a nearby medical centre only to be pronounced dead.

This newspaper joins all well-thinking Jamaicans in offering our sympathies to the bereaved family and friends, the Seaview Gardens community and the Jamaica College fraternity.

Inevitably we are reminded of a similar tragedy in February when 18-year-old St Jago High School cross-country runner Mr Cavahn McKenzie collapsed and died shortly after competing in Tobago.

Such sad events occur from time to time all over the world in sporting disciplines of every sort, at every level.

Each time those left behind are reminded of the need for administrators, coaches, parents, etc, to insist on thorough medical checks for their young ones to ensure they are fit for athletic competition.

We do not know if, in the case of Mr Ricketts, such checks were done. And even had he done a medical there are no guarantees any vulnerabilities would have necessarily shown up.

Nonetheless, the passing of young Mr Ricketts should serve as a warning to all schools, clubs, as well as the management of national teams in every sporting discipline to medically cross 'T's and dot 'I's.

Perhaps the Ministry of Health and, in the case of schools, the Ministry of Education should also consider an increased monitoring role to minimise such tragedies.




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