The school of Sydenham teenager Jamal Ottun, who died while on a rugby tour in Canada, is holding a day of tributes to its former star pupil today.

Jamal, an extremely popular house captain at Wallington Communuty Grammar School in south west London, drowned in Shawnigan Lake near Vancouver during a planned swimming trip on Sunday.

Despite the attention of emergency services and the efforts of the school’s staff and students, Jamal died. He was 17.

Jamal’s mother and father, Lolade and Dapo, are originally from Nigeria, but now live in Sydenham. He had two sisters, Zainad and Rahmat.

A Facebook group, “In memory of Jamal Ottun” has also been created so people can share photographs and other memories they have of Jamal. As July 16 it had 1,641 likes.

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Two family members have flown to Canada to help with investigations surrounding his death while others spent Wednesday supporting each other in their grief.

Floral tributes have been laid on the banks of Shawnigan Lake.

His school has also set up a book of condolence and created a place where people can leave tributes and friends, teachers and family can pay their respects.

The scheduled 12-day tour was cut short and student returned to the UK on Tuesday. Two staff members remained in Canada to assist with authorities.

Jamal was a keen sportsman. He played rugby, enjoyed football and was a top track athlete. 

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His talent was not limited to athletics and he won a school talent show with his friend and 
former WCGS pupil Jason Obiri-Yeboah for their rendition of Stand By Me earlier this year. 

Wallington Grammar has thanked its Canadian hosts Shawnigan Lake School for the support it had offered and to the authorities in British Columbia.

A statement from the school said: “I am sure that you will want to join with us in remembering an extraordinary young man.”

A full investigation into the causes of Jamal’s death, and the events that led up to it, is currently being carried out.