Community mourns Saanich soccer coach, program co-founder
Published Tuesday, July 21, 2020 1:37PM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, July 21, 2020 7:09PM PDT
VICTORIA -- The local sports community is in shock after the sudden death of a soccer school champion, program creator and coach.
David Ravenhill, long-time teacher and co-founder of the Reynolds Centre for Soccer Excellence at Reynolds Secondary in Saanich, died Monday.
He was also a former coach of the Victoria Highlanders Prospects program.
CFAX 1070 spoke with David's life-long friend – former soccer star and motivational speaker, Simon Keith – at his home in Las Vegas.
“You know, those who knew David knew that he was extremely fit, and he would run often. My understanding is he went for a run yesterday morning and when he got home, he just collapsed,” said Keith.
“That's all we know at the moment, there will be an autopsy in the next day or two. "
Keith says Ravenhill's death is hitting many in the soccer community very hard -- including recent grads of the soccer academy who gathered last night at Reynolds to remember and honour him.
“The boys and girls from this year... and all the kids in the school now, they all gathered at Reynolds last night and just toasted David and just sort of mourned him,” said Keith.
“They know how special he was to them. I just can't say it enough, this guy is just such a special dude, and it's just devastating."
Simon Keith, the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after getting a heart transplant when he was just 21, and who just received a second heart last year, says that David was extremely fit and was only 57-years-old when he died.
While Keith is not sure why David collapsed as of Tuesday, he encourages everyone to undergo a medical checkup, including a heart exam.
Keith says his friend has left a lasting legacy and that he made everyone want to be better. Keith says that David developed many kids in the sport of soccer and was a pillar of the community.
He adds that he is thankful David, a huge Liverpool fan, was able to see his favourite team win the Premier League title this year.
David Ravenhill is survived by his wife, Karen, and two sons.