An autopsy was performed on 15-year-old national netball player Joanne Wilfred-Shepard, which showed that she died as a result of complications of an enlarged heart. Joanne who resided in Canaries complained to other individuals of having pain in her chest last Friday September 09, 2016 during a routine training session.
Her teachers at the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School had earlier on the day in question, advised her to make her way home to rest, but she never made it.
The SCSS authorities have mobilized counselors to help with students affected by Joanne’s death, some of whom were in training with her last Friday.
Meanwhile many persons are of the opinion that young athletes should be given physicals or more robust medical examinations before entering sports programs at schools. Others are asking how a national youth player can represent her country without proper medical screening at such a tender age.
Since last Friday there has been an outpouring of sympathy towards the family, and former Acting Permanent Secretary int he Ministry of Sports Dr. Anthony George accompanied by a number of athletes, journeyed to Canaries to be with the family.
Joanne’s death has plunged the netball fraternity into mourning, with many at a lost as to why she had to have met her death at such a young age.