A 16-year-old boy with a “big, big heart” has died while taking part in a cycling pilgrimage in Spain.
The Swansea sixth form student, named locally as Michael Cura, was half-way through a 560-mile cycling challenge to Santiago de Compostela when he died on Thursday 21st July.
The teenager was travelling with fellow pupils and staff from Bishop Vaughan Catholic School who had planned to finish the trip in time for the Feast of Saint James on 25th July.
It is understood that the student’s death was not the result of an accident and did not involve any other pupils.
The school said it was “devastated”, and arrangements have been made to fly home the remaining pupils and staff today (Saturday).
Parish priest Fr Jason Jones said Michael had been an altar boy at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Morriston for around seven years along with his two brothers, and was part of a
“very committed” Filipino family.
Fr Jones said: “He was much loved, much liked, generous with his service and time to the church, but also was a helper with a pilgrimage group which took disadvantaged disabled children, so obviously a big, big heart, understanding of other people’s problems.”
The teenager’s parents, who live near the church in Morriston, attended a special mass at 7.30am on Friday where they were comforted by around 60 people, before flying out to Spain.
Fr Jones added: “I was with the family last night, it was a very emotional Mass but the family have great faith and great support from the parish and the Filipino community.”
A statement on the school’s website read: “Bishop Vaughan Catholic School has been devastated by the sudden death of a sixth form student whilst participating in a pilgrimage to Spain yesterday.
“The school is supporting the student’s family at this extremely difficult time and their thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends.”
A spokeswoman for Swansea Council said: “The parents of the student are being supported to travel out to Spain.
“Following discussions with the pupils, staff, and parents, the school has arranged for the remaining pupils and staff to return home tomorrow.”