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Singapore Sports School discloses safety lapse in 14-yr-old student-athlete’s death, dismisses coach amidst protocol review

The Singapore Sports School has disclosed a critical safety lapse following an exhaustive investigation into the untimely death of 14-year-old Pranav Madhaik, resulting in the dismissal of the badminton coach and prompting a rigorous reevaluation of existing safety and emergency protocols in the institution.



SINGAPORE: An investigation into the unexpected death of Pranav Madhaik, a 14-year-old Secondary 2 student-athlete at the Singapore Sports School (SSP), has revealed a significant safety lapse, highlighting a critical oversight by his badminton coach who failed to ensure his well-being prior to leaving the track.

This was revealed in SSP’s press release of its investigation findings, released on Saturday (14 Oct).

Subsequent to the investigation, the coach has been served a notice of dismissal, and the incident has propelled the school into a comprehensive review of its safety and emergency response protocols.

A timeline of tragedy and oversight

SSP has detailed the sequence of events leading up to the tragic passing of Pranav.

  1. October 5, 2023, 1826hrs: Pranav completed a 400m fitness time trial as part of the routine training at the SSP Badminton academy. Upon completion, he reported feeling unwell to his badminton coach.
  2. Between 1826hrs and 1835hrs: Pranav was instructed to rest by the side of the starting point as the coach attended to other duties, leaving him unattended. Pranav interacted with two other groups of student-athletes, who did not notice anything unusual with him.
  3. Approximately 1840hrs: A Track and Field coach found Pranav still resting at the side of the track. Recognizing Pranav’s distress, he initiated help – sending a student-athlete to fetch water and subsequently cold water per Pranav’s request.
  4. 1845hrs: Observing that Pranav could not stand even with assistance, the Track and Field coach activated the school’s Boarding staff for aid.
  5. 1850hrs: An ambulance was called.
  6. 1853hrs: Boarding staff contacted Pranav’s parents.
  7. 1902hrs: The ambulance arrived and Pranav was transported to the National University Hospital (NUH), arriving there at 1919hrs. He was later admitted and rendered medical care.
  8. October 11, 2023: Pranav tragically passed away, the cause of death was cited as cardiac arrest with an antecedent cause of congenital malformation of coronary vessels.

The press release detailed, “It was found that the Badminton coach should have checked on Pranav to ensure his well-being before leaving the track. 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.”

While the SSP has taken decisive action against the coach for neglecting to account for Pranav’s wellbeing, and despite adherence to some emergency protocols, the incident raises piercing questions regarding the preparedness and responsiveness of youth sports training institutions to medical emergencies.

Pranav’s parents are navigating through their grief, besieged with unanswered questions, and advocating for more robust safety and emergency medical systems within the institution.

The selection of NUH, situated significantly farther from the school as compared to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and the absence of immediate, on-site medical intervention have become focal points of their concerns.

Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Prem Singh Madhaik, Pranav’s father, implored, “If we have a proper system in place there itself, we could have prevented this type of issue.”

In response to the incident and ensuing inquiries, SSP has engaged with Pranav’s family and is also undertaking an extensive review of its safety protocols. “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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The short interval between Pranav’s symptoms and a need for an ambulance to be called suggests that the blame should not fall fully on the coach. If he had a congenital issue, why was it not diagnosed earlier in, what I presume should be rigorous health screenings before entering the school? A heart issue, serious enough to cause death should produce noticeable warning signs. For intense, pain or unexplained fatigue after strenuous exercise. Was Pranav told that it was normal and to ignore them prior to this unfortunate incident? And who told him to do this? His family? Other coaches… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Blankslate

Push all the blame to a poor coach to take the shit while the true cause was the….VAX.
All the confirmed and typical signs due to those toxic vax..
Well, you know when someone was the actual culprit to say…..VAX..VAX…VAX…YOU KNOW THEY WOULD NOT BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR LIFE!…if shits hits the fan!😆😆😆😆😆

When they have trials like this don’t they have a nursing officer on site or they can deploy a SAF medic ton stand by to attend to emergencies,
This is should be standard procedure in a special school like this that conducts intensive sport activities much more than CCA like ordinary schools.

The Education minister should resign given that he s ex army man.

A young life has been lost. Don’t just sack the coach and investigate and close the matter.

Conveniently blaming it on “….congenital malformation of coronary vessels.”?
All students (including those going to the local universities) went for medical checkup to certify their health status for the program they are pursuing. How can this boy not be singled out that competitive sports is not for him (in consideration of his health status).
Could he had taken three of those experimental shots for Covid? There were many cases of myocarditis resulting in death for young professional sportsmen.

Admission to a sports school must have the criteria of complete medical check up and the revelation by the parents of any known medical conditions. This should be repeated yearly. Why only blame the coach? How about the Minister of Education, CCS? Did he set up the criteria for medical checkup or was he complacent. It is time for the top to take responsibility instead of blaming a coach.

RIP young man
Condolences to the parents.

The school must accept a level of responsibility.
It is an elite sports school

Therefore it must have purposeful medical checks
Therefore it must have purposeful equipment and procedures after strenuous activities.

The statistical numbers may show low risk, but that is an opinion of the insurers.
That is someone’s child.

Singapore administrators are incompetent.
Always saying: “we are guided by …”
They have no personal stake and accountability.

RIP young man.

“….congenital malformation of coronary vessels.” ————- Can this condition be detected by prior full physical examination of our athletes? Did the family know of this and inform the sport school/council when their child was enrolled? Given our monkeys’ policy to grow at all costs chasing gdp growth, can it be said that our sport bodies are also trying to win at all costs, just grabbing any potential athlete without full examination for congenital issues? Again it seems our ministries are NOT talking to each other. MOH very quiet, hor? Coordinating minister – where are you? Oh, sorry, that one just… Read more »

what rubbish they talking? Definition : Congenital malformations of the coronary vessels refer to anomalies or abnormalities in the coronary arteries that are present at birth. If it is a “congenital malformation of coronary vessels” like they claim then nothing they could have done to prevent this because the poor boy was born with this RARE condition that needs surgery. They want to push the blame on the coach when the school itself as a matter of admissions criteria into a “SPORTS” school at the very least done a ECG on EVERY admission!! Also, that would mean this boy was… Read more »

Should all potential Athletes be given a FULL medical checkup to ensure they are aware of any medical conditions and what to take note for their medical cases whether by themselves or by the coaches?!?