THE man who is said to be instrumental in Kingston College's 14-year reign as Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Boys Champions during the 1960s-1970s, William 'Youngster' Goldsmith, passed away at age 89 on Saturday morning.
Goldsmith, a KC old boy, was a former featherweight champion of Jamaica and later in 1961 became physical instructor at his alma mater.
He started a gym in 1938 and held the featherweight title for 13 years and used his expertise to help lift the school by introducing weights training as part of the sport programme. He carried on that task even into his dotage.
Kingston College head track and field coach Michael Russell told the Jamaica Observer Goldsmith worked with the team until 2011 travelling with them each year to the Penn Relays, but was forced to stop last year on doctors orders.
"His knowledge base was wide. (He) is somebody that we will miss, but he has because of old age ...started to slow down," said Russell.
So influential was Goldsmith that the school started an annual field events meet in his honour — The Youngster Goldsmith National Athletics Classic — and Russell said that his legacy lives on.
"You lose somebody with the knowledge and expertise, but the good thing about it is that that knowledge has been passed on. Kingston College doing well at 'Champs' is not by chance. He has taught me a lot in how to apply weights training and that the initial knowledge has helped in my development as a coach. You see it translate into the development of the team."
Russell, a triple jumper and pole vaulter as a student, himself benefited personally from Goldsmith's influence.
"He had something to do with my abilities as well. I used to have a lot of hamstring injuries and he was the one who started me out in terms of a strength routine. I was able to perform at Champs late in the year after getting injured and even won a medal."
Russell said it was likely that the track meet would now be renamed as a memorial and perhaps his death would even inspire them further to retake the Boys Championships title this year.
"It is hard to use anything else to inspire us winning Champs and I'm sure his death will be a loss and there will be a proper dedication to him," Russell concluded.