A community outpouring of grief, shock and sorrow has followed the sudden death of a Kamo Intermediate student, who collapsed and died at school.
Aimee Lindsay, 13, died at school after athletics training, collapsing in front of fellow students. She could not be revived.
Her death at Kamo Intermediate School on Monday shocked fellow students, teachers and parents, with football clubs throughout Northland paying tribute to a promising young player.
Funeral details are being finalised, school board chairman Paul Cross said, while the Ministry of Education's trauma incident team continues to help with counselling.
He said messages of support and flowers have been flowing from right across Whangarei.
A kaumatua on Tuesday blessed the school ground where she collapsed in the presence of other students.
Tikipunga AFC has postponed this week's games as a mark of respect although the clubrooms will be open for those who wish to come together.
The club will also have the goals and equipment available for anyone wishing to set up a field and have a kick-around.
"She will be sorely missed in the Northland football community. We are thinking of all the boys and girls who played beside her in the beautiful game that she loved."
Football Ferns striker Hannah Wilkinson from Whangārei sent her condolences, saying it was heart breaking and absolutely devastating to hear of Aimee's death.
Ricky Herbert Football Academy head coach in Northland, Phil Auton, said Lindsay definitely had a future in football.
"Her attitude was up there. It's been an honour and privilege to work with her. She was a fantastic player," he said.
Auton coached her at this year's AIMS Game in the Bay of Plenty.
The Northern Football Federation described Aimee as "a beautiful girl with a bright and bubbly personality".
The federation's Northland development officer Dave Alabaster said Aimee's prodigious talent made the midfielder's name known a couple of years before she entered the Northland player development programme aged nine.
Alabaster said Lindsay's potential in football rivalled that of Northland Football Ferns Wilkinson, Abby Erceg, and Katie Rood when they were the same age.
"I saw Abby Erceg when she was the same age and obviously Hannah and Katie Rood and [Lindsay] is in the same bracket as them in terms of talent," he said.
"She was just a really intelligent player. Girls often struggle when they play against boys, but because of her intelligence, she always knew where to be and she actually dominated boys' games, she was that good.
"When I saw Aimee dominating boys games, the last female player to that was Abby Erceg probably."
Alabaster said Lindsay had the dedication and attitude to go all the way in football but despite her potential sporting success, Alabaster said the community had lost a really great kid.
"She was a fun girl, got on with everybody, bubbly, happy. Just a good kid. You just can't fathom how these things happen sometimes."
In a statement, the federation described Lindsay as a person who made, "a lasting impression on all who came into contact with her. She was a dedicated and multi-talented sportsperson with a particular gift for football".
Lindsay played her football for the Kamo Soccer Club and was quickly identified as a talent, entering the Northland Player Development programme at nine years old.
At 10 years old, Lindsay was selected for the Northland under-12 Girls Weir Rose Bowl tournament team in 2016, which was very rare for someone her age.
The team went on to win the Weir Rose Bowl – the only Northland team to ever do so. She played in two further Weir Rose Bowl tournaments.
In 2019 Lindsay was selected for the NFF Northern Lights under-14 girls' futsal team that finished third at the Futsal Youth National Championships in Wellington.
She was also part of the wider training squad for the NFF Northern Lights under-14 girls' football team preparing for their national age-group tournament in Wellington in December.