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Serious side to Jedi Tag sports day

Last updated 05:00 16/11/2012

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Three years after losing one of their teens to a tragic suicide, family members are working to prevent others from going down the same path.

Tyrone Filiva'a seemed to be set for a successful life.

The 17-year-old was a star rugby league player scouted for the Warriors and other development teams, and was doing well at school.

But a week before turning 18 Tyrone took his own life and changed the lives of his family forever.

Now those he left behind are holding a sports day in his honour and to spread the word to other young people that suicide isn't an option, you are not alone, there is help and it is cool to get help.

The Jedi Tag Tournament will be held at Fowlds Park in Mt Albert on Sunday with the aim of being a fun day of tag football while raising awareness of teen suicide.

To formalise their support for the cause the family has set up the Tyrone Teen Suicide Awareness Foundation.

Sister Ariana Filiva'a says Tyrone's death came as a huge shock to the family.

She says he was "everything to everyone" and a seemingly confident young man.

"He was a loving son to his parents, the cheeky endearing younger brother to his siblings, and the big funny uncle to his many nieces and nephews," she says.

"With the benefit of hindsight and our own research into suicide we have begun to understand that what we thought to be Tyrone's natural teenage angst and discontent was actually him not coping with all that he had going on.

"As his family we wanted to honour Tyrone's memory."

The foundation aims to break the silence that surrounds the issue of youth suicide, promote and provide people with the education and resources they need to get help for a friend or loved one, and give people who have lost someone the opportunity to get together and help educate others on the signs of suicidal behaviour.

Miss Filiva'a says while there is a serious message behind the day's events it will also be a fun day with lots going on even for those not playing.

As well as tournament trophies up for grabs there will be tournament T-shirts and a range of spot prizes including sports gear, electronic equipment, toys, vouchers and CDs.

DETAILS

What: Jedi Tag Tournament

Where: Fowlds Park, Mt Albert

When: 9am to 4pm, Sunday, November 18

More info: facebook.com, search Jedi Tag Tournament 

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- Central Leader

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