Few people have enriched the New Zealand athletics community quite like Roy Williams.
The younger brother of 1952 Olympic long jump champion Yvette, Roy was also a top international class athlete memorably winning decathlon gold at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica.
He also set Commonwealth and New Zealand decathlon records and won 14 national titles – 11 in the decathlon, one each in the long jump, discus and 120yd hurdles – during a lengthy and storied career.
Born in Dunedin, Roy largely focused on rugby and cricket as a Dunedin Technical High School student, although he did show athletics potential at an early age winning back-to-back 75yd hurdles titles at the Otago intermediate schools’ championships.
“I did very little competing, however, during my high school years, mainly because we had just one day of athletics a year, our school’s ánnual championships,” he explains. “The facilities would be best described as pathetic. In ...