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FORMER TT hockey captain and U-21 coach, Darren Cowie, is calling for comprehensive medical tests to become mandatory when national players are engaged in rigorous training for tournaments.

Cowie made the declaration yesterday shortly after the funeral service for ex-U-21 hockey captain and goalkeeper, Kwasi Emmanuel who died on Saturday at the age of 21 from a heart attack. The funeral was held at Faith Assembly International, Five Rivers.

Cowie recalled that Kwasi would have undergone such tests for most of his years on the national team.

In fact, Cowie said heart monitor equipment was attained by senior men’s coach Glen Francis and players are tested regularly.

He said as far as he knew Kwasi would have had a clean bill of health, particularly as he only just returned from England where he played with Timperley Hockey Club.

Marlon Jackson, who represented Malvern sports club, of which Kwasi was a long-standing member, said his death still remains a shock, as the aspiring attorney made training look easy.

It was a mixture of laughter and tears at the packed church hall as attendees listened to tributes about the young man.

Kwasi, whose two brothers, Keiron and Kristien, played alongside him for years at the national level, was eulogised by them.

They were the first trio of siblings to have made the national hockey team.

Keiron, the eldest, spoke of his “baby brother: who was determined to best him and his uncanny ability to have done just that. His younger brother, Kristien, said he always thought he would have had to prepare a speech for his brother’s wedding but never his funeral.

Maureen Craig-Rousseau, manager of First Citizens – where Kwasi worked for just over a year – commended his parents, Nigel and Delisa Emmanuel, for raising young men of excellence and strength in their Christian beliefs.

She noted that if more children were raised by such parents the country would have less crime.

Kwasi’s father, Nigel, took to the pulpit to officiate the ceremony and called for all to celebrate his son’s

He said while many would be sad, he could rejoice because he knew that his son served his true purpose here.

“I would look my son Kwasi in the face, say ‘I love you, I am proud of you, God bless you’ and he would blush and I would hug him.

“There is no shame in being that kind of father. If more fathers would take up their mantle, maybe there would be less criminality in our country,” he said.

The former police officer then walked up to the casket which bore his son’s hockey helmet and muttered a few parting words.

The impassioned pastor said his son would have made one last request if he could, which was for attendees to “give their lives to Christ.”