Expert panel to review Singapore Sports School’s safety protocols after student-athlete’s death

SINGAPORE: An expert panel is being formed to assist the Singapore Sports School in conducting a “thorough” review of its safety policies and protocols, following the death of a 14-year-old student-athlete who felt unwell after a fitness trial.

The review, which the school is collaborating with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) on, aims to identify “areas for further improvement”, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong.

He was responding in writing to a parliamentary question on Monday (Nov 6) from Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Razwana Begum Abdul Rahim on the Sports School’s safety procedures, including whether its employees were appropriately trained.

The student-athlete, badminton player Pranav Madhaik, reported feeling unwell following a routine 400m fitness time trial on Oct 5. He was taken to the National University Hospital where he was admitted and received intensive medical care, but unfortunately, he passed away on Oct 11.

According to his death certificate, the cause of death was cardiac arrest with a preceding malformation of coronary vessels.

Pranav’s badminton coach was subsequently dismissed on Oct 14 for failing to account for all student-athletes and neglecting to check on their well-being before ending their training.

The Sports School has stated that it is currently evaluating and reinforcing all of its safety protocols.

“Pranav’s unfortunate passing, the loss of a young life with so much potential, has been a sad occasion and a profound shock to all of us,” said Mr Tong on Monday.

He mentioned that the Sports School has comprehensive policies and procedures in place to safeguard the safety and well-being of its student-athletes, covering scenarios including medical emergencies.

Similar to the Ministry of Education’s schools, it undergoes external safety validation and checks, with the last one taking place in February.

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