Tributes are being made to the 13-year-old female student who collapsed and died at school as trauma teams move in to help staff and students at the Northland school come to terms with the tragedy.

Aimee Lindsay, 13, died at Kamo Intermediate School on Monday after athletics training.

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.


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Alabaster said Lindsay's potential in football rivalled that of Northland Football Ferns Abby Erceg, Hannah Wilkinson 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.

A student has died at Kamo Intermediate. Photo / File
A student has died at Kamo Intermediate. Photo / File

"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 this morning, 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.

Principal Kim Sloane said Aimee, a Year 8 student, had "collapsed at school ... and was unable to be revived".

Aimee Lindsay, 13, who collapsed and died at Kamo Intermediate on Monday. Photo / Supplied
Aimee Lindsay, 13, who collapsed and died at Kamo Intermediate on Monday. Photo / Supplied

"It is likely that this tragedy will have a significant impact on students and staff at our school and further afield."

Sloane said the school had support in place for students and parents.

"Our thoughts are with Aimee's family and friends at this very sad time."

The Advocate understands Aimee collapsed while in the presence of other students.

Aimee was known to be actively involved in a range of sports, and had been identified as a promising cricket and football player.

Board chairman Paul Cross said Aimee had recently participated in the AIMS Game in the Bay of Plenty.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. The emotions are reasonably pretty raw. We've had fantastic support from the ministry and the wider community," he said.

The school cancelled its athletics finals event planned for Tuesday.

Police said officers were called to Whangārei Hospital on Monday evening following the sudden death of a 13-year-old.

Victim Support has been offered to the girl's family, police said.

President of the Te Tai Tokerau Principals' Association, Pat Newman, said the school would be going through hell and that teachers would feel like someone in their family had passed away.

"Schools in Te Tai Tokerau are in full support of Kamo Intermediate School and its community. We are so sorry about what they are going through at the moment.

"We know they'll be handling the situation with aroha, love, and care. They will also have great support from the ministry's crisis team."

The Ministry of Education has a traumatic incident team that provides support to manage an incident or crisis. It confirmed the team had been deployed to assist.

Ministry staff do not provide counselling, but may be able to help direct those affected to such services.

The traumatic team helps develop appropriate processes for dealing with an incident to ensure the safety and well-being of children, young people and staff and to return early learning service or school to normal operations as quickly as possible.

It also helps those affected understand the emotional and psychological impacts of a traumatic incident and the effects they can have on how people behave, and advise them on things they can do to support people who have been involved in similar incidents.

Advice was also provided on how to talk about the incident with children, young people, staff, parents and the community.