An aspiring young athlete has died suddenly in Tasmania, shocking her community.
Samara Whitney, 16, was a talented young footballer who played for Wynyard Football Club and was part of the Tasmania Devils program.
She died suddenly on Tuesday.
RELATED: Teacher at elite all-girls school dies after child safety compromise report
“A lively and lovely young lady”
Samara attended Marist Regional College and was known on the field as “the pocket rocket.” She is remembered as a “lovely young lady”.
“It is with great sadness and sorrow that we learn of the sudden death of Samara Whitney,” Wynyard FC said in a social media post. The Mercury reported.
“Samara has been part of the WFC family since she was a junior and played an important role in our Senior Women’s Premiership squad this year.
Would you like to join the family? Sign up with us Kidsspot newsletter for more stories like this.
“A vibrant and lovely young lady who has made a name for herself at WFC as a passionate and talented player with a bright future ahead of her.”
“Our young gun, our pocket rocket, our number 2… such a positive influence on everyone.” Someone who had a great connection to both our club and the wider community. This will take forever.
“A true star who shone brightly both inside and out.
“Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey and bringing so much light (and) joy to so many lives.”
RELATED: ‘She was so loved’: Community mourns sudden death of 4-year-old girl
“She had a bright future”
Marist Regional College principal Gregg Sharman said Samara is one of the school’s brightest stars.
“More than just football, Samara was a vibrant, charismatic, dedicated, kind and compassionate student towards everyone,” said Mr. Sharman.
“Samara had a bright future in many aspects of her life.
“Our college is deeply saddened and we extend our prayers, sympathy and condolences to them [her parents] along with their daughters at that time.”
He commended the college staff for supporting the students and their families, many of whom were extremely distressed.
A GoFundMe The page was also set up by friends to help Ms Whitney’s parents, Kym Smitheram and Seton Whitney, cover her funeral expenses.
The site has raised more than $25,000.
RELATED: Gold Coast mom dies suddenly on ‘trip of a lifetime’ with two young daughters
“Since then, time has stood still for her family”
In a heartfelt message, organizer Sasha Burr said Tuesday was “a day we will all never forget”.
“It was the day we learned the tragic news that Samara Whitney #2 was no longer with us.
“Since then, time has stood still for her family, friends, school community and athletic clubs as we all begin to grieve and navigate life without our special girl.”
AFL Tasmania also took note of Ms Whitney’s death and remembered her as a “beloved member” of the community.
“AFL Tasmania extends its deepest condolences to the communities of Wynyard Football Club, North West Football League and Tasmania Devils following the sudden death of Samara Whitney,” they said.
“Samara was a popular member of the Wynyard Cats and Tasmania Devils programs and also represented the NWFL in this year’s Women’s All Stars Series.
“Our thoughts are with Samara’s friends, family and members of the Tassie football community.”