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"Giant" of Richmond track and field passes away

Moseley Jack had coached at Kajaks Track and Field for 41 years before retiring earlier this year

A legend of the Richmond athletics scene has passed away at the age of 85.

The Kajaks Track and Field Club Alumni announced on its Facebook page Monday afternoon that they’d lost “another giant” in Moseley Jack.

Jack told the Richmond News in February of this year that he was retiring after coaching at the club – which has produced several Olympic athletes - for an incredible 41 years.

“We find it difficult to put in to words the effect that Coach Jack had on our club,” read the statement on the club’s Facebook page.

“Beginning with the club in September 1980, Moseley, like many other long-time coaches began coaching when his son Byron joined. 

“From then on, Coach Jack went on to become a world class coach through his involvement with our Junior Development program.

“Never compromising, consistently professional and always honest with his athletes, Moseley epitomized what it meant to take seriously the care for one’s athletes.”

The post went on to say that “Coach Jack always brought a motivating energy with him to practice and any athlete under his care knew that they were in the presence of a serious coach.

“Throughout his career, he touched the lives of every athlete to come through the club and often kept tabs on them throughout their careers…Rest easy coach.”

Jack, a 2018 Richmond Wall of Fame inductee, told the News earlier this year how he stumbled into coaching by accident, after turning up at a Richmond elementary school track meet in 1980 with his son and daughter.

A school teacher at the time, Jack had zero experience as an athletics coach and had absolutely no intention of taking up a coaching role at the local Kajaks club.

But later that same day, a blunt conversation with the club's head coach at the time led to Jack - an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago in 1959 - spending the next 41 years honing the skills of the club's younger athletes and earning himself the tag as a Kajaks' legend in the process.

"I came from Trinidad and Tobago; we were not that advanced; there were no tracks there. I do remember someone doing the pole vault with a long piece of bamboo and landing on the ground on their bare feet,” said Jack back in February.

“We just played cricket and soccer, I knew very little about track and field."

Jack first came to Canada, age 23, to study at UBC, initially with designs on becoming a doctor, before ending up in teaching, which eventually took him east to Kamloops.

But it was a call from the Richmond School Board about a job that brought him back to the area and ultimately to the Kajaks.

"Everything I learned about coaching athletics, I learned it through the Kajaks or from national coaches," added Jack, a 2018 Richmond Wall of Fame inductee.

"I went through all the coaching levels. I coached basketball at school as well, after someone showed me how the game works; that was another sport I knew very little about."


Kajaks' head coach, Garret Collier, said earlier this year that it was "almost impossible" to measure how much of an impact Jack has had at the club over those four decades.

"During his time at Kajaks, with the junior development program, he's touched the careers, at some point, of athletes who went onto national or Olympic levels," Collier told the Richmond News.