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Schoolboy dies on Canada rugby tour

Published 14/07/2015

Jamal Ottun died during a swimming trip while on a school rugby tour of Canada
Jamal Ottun died during a swimming trip while on a school rugby tour of Canada

An "extremely popular and talented" teenager has died on a rugby tour of Canada, his school has said.

Wallington County Grammar School pupil Abdul Jamal Ottun died during a swimming trip at Shawnigan Lake School in British Columbia on Sunday.

The Year 12 student was a "keen sportsman" and his family were "devastated" by his death, according to the school's headmaster Jonathan Wilden.

The rugby tour has been cut short by more than a week and his fellow pupils have been offered professional support, while a remembrance area will be set up at the front of the school, in the London borough of Sutton.

In a statement, Mr Wilden said emergency services were unable to help the youngster.

"Despite their response, and the considerable efforts of the s chool's own staff and students, Jamal could not be saved and sadly passed away at the scene," he said.

"Jamal was an exemplary Walcountian. During his time with us he developed a true love for Wallington County Grammar School and this was reciprocated by those who knew him too.

"He was a very generous individual, always looking for the best in people and wanting to help them achieve great things. Jamal would have continued to be a fantastic role model for others in the school and beyond, and would have undoubtedly become a great leader as house captain of Carew as part of the school's house system.

"Jamal was a very keen sportsman, be it on the rugby pitch, the running track or excelling in virtually any other sporting activity. The short time that he did spend on this trip was characterised by tremendous fun as demonstrated by the photographs that he had already shared with family and friends."

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