1978 Graduating Class of Kingston College Honors Star Athlete Ian Stapleton

Former Kingston College (KC) 400-meter track and field athlete Ian Stapleton was honored by the college’s graduating class of 1978 at its yearly Nostalgia, Retro After Champs event at Port Henderson Beach in St Catherine on March 23, 2024.

Stapleton’s achievements at KC

Ian Stapleton was born in 1959 in Kingston, Jamaica. His performance in his last appearance at the Boys Athletic Championship in 1979 shocked fans by winning the 400-meter Class One competition in an upset over the favorite, Bertland Cameron, who became one of Jamaica’s top athletes. Stapleton also represented Jamaica at the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team that took home a silver medal. He also represented Jamaica at the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow until he was eliminated in the 400-meter quarterfinals. Stapleton clocked a personal best time in the 400 meters of 45.91 seconds in 1983.

About Nostalgia Retro After Champs

“Champs” refers to the five-day track and field competition formally known as the ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Athletic Championship, which attracts hundreds of visitors to Jamaica each year. The annual nostalgia event was started in 2017 by KC Old Boys Everald Cranston, a deejay based in the United Kingdom who served in the British Army, and Reverend Paul Blake, a former member of the band, Blood Fire Posse. In addition to Stapleton, three other 1978 graduates will be recognized – Stanley Johnson, Simon Suckie, and Dennis Campbell, and 1979 graduate Deon Edwards. The event featured performances of vintage music by KC Old Boys, selectors Bobo El Numero Uno, Bello Da Love Doc, and Gairy Sweetness. Guest artists included Lone Ranger and Robert French. Proceeds from the event were put toward the “No Man Left Behind” project.

“Nostalgia” for a good cause

Reverend Paul Blake, who is the head of Paul Blake Ministries, noted that the event raises funds for a good cause. It was established in 2017 by KC graduates who realized that one of their teammates who played Manning Cup football was facing some medical challenges and decided to help him. They collected $67,000 at their celebration that night, and the next year, the amount doubled. The event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was staged again this year – “better than ever,” Blake said – with its recognition of Stapleton, who is now vision-impaired, and others. Many former KC stars endorsed Nostalgia 2024, including former KC Manning Cup football and cricket star, Douglas “Dougie” Bell; former KC track star, Wainsworth “Rocking Head” Small; Dr Carl Bartley and twin brother Paul “Skullman” Bartley; former table tennis star, Colin McNeish; retired track star Noel Headlam; and former Calabar star, Dave “Broadie” Stewart.

Photo – Contributed