Child athlete dies on field

2011-01-27 10:01
Johannesburg - A 12-year-old top primary school athlete from Limpopo has died after collapsing on the athletics field.

Emmanuel Maroga died on Tuesday afternoon at the Steelpoort Academy, previously the Steelpoort Primary School, near Burgersfort.

He was training for an athletics meet that is taking place in Mariepskop on Saturday.

The cause of his death is not yet known.

Big shock

Principal Anton Alberts said on Wednesday that Emmanuel's death was a big shock to all at the school.

"He was very fit and our best long-distance athlete in the Under 12 category."

Alberts said teachers who saw Maroga collapsing immediately carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after finding no pulse. After continued resuscitation, he had a weak pulse, but died thereafter. Emergency workers arrived on the scene soon afterwards.

Alberts said Emmanuel had no underlying illnesses as far as they knew.

"He was a nice boy and an extremely good athlete." He had been in the school since Grade 1.

Emmanuel's classmates and teachers had to receive counselling on Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon's athletics training was cancelled in memory of Emmanuel.

Gold medal

Alberts said Emmanuel was dedicated to his athletics. He also did cross-country running and played rugby.

"He said he wanted to win a gold medal at this year's inter-primary meet. The school will give a golden medal and certificate to his mother."

Emmanuel's mother, Mathilda Maroga, was on Wednesday afternoon too shocked to talk about her son's death. She is a single parent living in a village outside town.

Police will hold an inquest to determine what caused Emmanuel's death.

By late on Wednesday night, no funeral arrangements had been made.
Read more on:    polokwane
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