Joshua Tanuvasa went to St John's College to return his uniform and sign out. Hours later he was dead.
A group of Hamilton students are reeling following the sudden death of one of their mates at a city gym.
Joshua Tanuvasa, 17, was working out at Les Mills gym in Victoria St when he collapsed about 5.30pm on Wednesday.
Attempts to resuscitate him failed.
Les Mills Hamilton manager Sheldon Macdonald said staff were left devastated by the young man's death.
"He'd been training down in the lower-level power gym with his brother, Jamieson. They were only about 10 minutes into their training session when he became unwell," Mr Macdonald said.
Staff quickly came to assist, with paramedics arriving "within minutes".
Mr Macdonald said family and friends arrived at the gym following Joshua's death and spent "a very special few hours" with the young man, who had aspired to become a personal trainer.
Devastated St John's students and staff gathered for an impromptu liturgy and prayers in the school staffroom on Wednesday evening, and a Facebook tribute page was launched yesterday.
"It's exactly what Josh would have wanted," said good friend Kieran McGirr.
Kieran had known Joshua since the pair attended St Joseph's Catholic primary school in Fairfield.
St John's head boy Justin Jang said Joshua was a popular student who excelled in art, sport and in particular singing.
"He auditioned for New Zealand's Got Talent and got through to the final 40; he was really talented and his voice was just incredible," Justin said.
At a cultural extravaganza last year, Justin said, his friend "blew everyone away" with his rendition of Adele's Someone Like You.
Principal Shane Tong said Joshua was a "special character" who was a shining example of the Marist spirit.
"He was larger than life, always had a smile; a very polite kid who was a credit to his family," he said.
Mr Tong, himself a St John's old boy, said he would never forget the beaming student who was among the first to welcome him back to his old school when he took up the reins as principal at the start of the year.
Joshua took great pride in his appointment as a tuakana (older brother) at St John's, responsible for mentoring and settling year 9 students into the school.
With no known pre-existing medical conditions, Joshua's friends were shocked at news of his death but said he had been "working hard" to get in shape and pursue his personal training career.
On the sports field Joshua excelled in both rugby and rugby league.
Yesterday members of the Hamilton City Tigers U17 league team got together to support one another following their team-mate's death. Team-mate Desharn Bramley said Joshua played with "no fear and always gave it everything".
"He was an all-round good person; he looked after us and we'll always remember him for the biggest smile and the longest sideburns - he had the nickname Sidey.
"We will miss him - he had a golden heart that shone wherever he went."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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