Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
IN less than a month, the 16th staging of the Youngster Goldsmith Track and Field Classics will be held at GC Foster College.
However, the man in whose honour the meet is held, William McLean 'Youngster' Goldsmith, will not be in attendance.
Known by many as 'Mr G', the man who was behind the weights programme at Kingston College (KC), starting in the 1960s, passed away last Saturday at home after ailing for several months.
On any day of the week, the familar figure of Goldsmith could be seen either on the field or at the sports department, supervising weights training at the North Street institution.
A former featherweight boxing champion of Jamaica and physical instructor at KC, Goldsmith attended the north Street, Kingston, school and acquired the love for weights at the age of 15. He started a gym in 1938 and held the featherweight title for 13 years.
Goldsmith was the only Jamaican to clean and jerk double his bodyweight, lifting 281 pounds, and won several international medals for Jamaica.
After returning to KC in August 1961, Goldsmith occupied the post of physical instructor. KC became the most dominant high school in almost all sporting competitions under his tutelage, as weights training gave it an edge. Other schools eventually recognised the benefits and weights now form the base of most sports-training programmes throughout Jamaica.
A minute of silence
At last Saturday's staging of the Wata/Jamaica College Invitational track and field meet, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, Dr Warren Blake, asked those in attendance to acknoweldge a minute's silence for Goldsmith.
"In the '70s, while a student at Kingston College, I gained a lot of wealth from Mr G on how weights training should be conducted, and he was always willing to help any one as he was so pleasant and understanding," said Blake.
Head coach of the school's track and field team, Michael Russell, said, "I remember when I was a member of the track and field team between 1984 and 1985. I used to have frequent hamstring (problems). Because of his help with the weights training, I was able to overcome that injury."
Russell also spoke about Goldsmith's assistance to his programme.
"He was brilliant in applying weights training to the athletes and he was the one who also initiated my knowledge of weights training, and how to apply it to the youngsters," said Russell, who pointed out that Goldsmith was part of the programme up to 2011.