Tributes for star who died too young

TRIBUTES continue to flow following the sudden death of multi-talented Minchinbury teenager Maniah Betham.

More than 1300 people farewelled the outstanding swimmer, rugby player, athlete, academic student and public speaker at his funeral last week.

Maniah, 15, was an elite athlete training up to six days a week until one month ago when he was diagnosed with arrhythmia. He was awaiting further tests for a full diagnosis.

He was at his local church youth group when he had a fatal heart seizure on July 16.

"He was religious and very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," his father Cubitt told the Star.

"He was planning to dedicate two years as a missionary for the church before university."

Maniah was in his third year at Trinity Grammar School, having previously attended Erskine Park High School, and was school captain at Colyton Public School.

A busload of his Trinity schoolmates attended the funeral and lined up as a guard of honour in their distinctive green jackets and a memorial service was held at the school.

"Best of all you were the nicest, funniest, most humble kid I knew," one school friend said.

Both school and non school sports teams wore black armbands last weekend. .

"We've heard from swim clubs not just all over Sydney but also interstate," Mr Betham said.

"Sho Nishimoto, who recently competed at the Commonwealth Games trials wrote 'he was that person who achieved a goal without telling anyone, no ego nor arrogance just a young man working hard for what he loved.' We're just flabbergasted about the effect this boy had on people; he touched so many.

"We are devastated but are comforted with the support from the community."

MANIAH'S SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS:

* The Ripples swim club member competed at the national age championships

in 2012-14. He won two bronze medals at the national all schools titles 2012.

Maniah won also state gold medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100m and 200m backstroke.

*Member of Trinity Grammar CAS Athletics Program and represented his school and club for: high jump, shot-put, 400m.

* Played rugby at Trinity Grammar as open side flanker and was flagged to play first-15 rugby for Trinity next year.

Comment on this story online to leave your tributes to Maniah.

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