Singapore Sports School fires badminton coach after probe into student’s death reveals safety protocol breach | #schoolsaftey

SINGAPORE: An investigation into the death of Pranav Madhaik, a Secondary 2 student-athlete at the Singapore Sports School, has revealed there was a safety lapse as his badminton coach failed to check on his well-being before leaving the track. The coach has been served a notice of dismissal.

The 14-year-old, who was part of the school’s badminton academy and had aspired to be an Olympic champion, felt unwell following a 400m fitness time trial on Oct 5. The Singapore Civil Defence Force received a call for assistance at the school at about 6.50pm on that day.

Pranav was taken to the National University Hospital and he died on Wednesday (Oct 11).

In a press release on Saturday, the Singapore Sports School laid out the timeline of events leading to the boy’s death and the findings of the investigation.

After completing his time trial session on Oct 11 at about 6.26pm, Pranav reported to the badminton coach that he felt unwell. 

Time trials and conditioning sessions are a regular part of student-athletes’ training plans, according to the school.

The coach told Pranav to rest as he had previously reported being unwell but recovered after resting. 

Pranav rested at the side of the starting point while the coach attended to the time-trial data on his phone.

He subsequently left the track to brief other student-athletes on competition matters, not realising that Pranav was still resting at the same location. The coach then left the school premises after the briefing. 

The badminton coach should have checked on Pranav to ensure his well-being before leaving the track, the school said.

He did not account for all his student-athletes before dismissing them from training, which was not in accordance with the school’s safety protocols. 

“The Singapore Sports School takes this matter seriously. The coach has been served a notice of dismissal,” it said.

“The school is also reviewing and strengthening all its safety protocols, and emphasised to coaches and staff the importance of adhering to them.”

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