Killamarsh community hero to get royal medal

Peter with his two sons James and Jonathan
Peter with his two sons James and Jonathan

A sports coach who has dedicated his life to teaching young people has been awarded a prestigious royal accolade.

Peter Kelly, aged 54 of Acacia Crescent, Killamarsh near Sheffield has been named on the Queen’s birthday honours list for his services to Physical Education.

Peter busy coaching

Peter busy coaching

The teacher is to be awarded with a British Empire Medal (BEM) which was brought back in 2012 for civil recognition in services to the Crown.

Peter was fundamental in setting up the Arrows basketball club which is currently situated in Killamarsh and has been involved since its beginnings.

He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic, it’s so humbling to be recognised in this way and it’s exciting to be honoured as part of a dream of mine 25 years ago.

“I’m just a normal person doing what I love.”

Peter with the kids he coaches

Peter with the kids he coaches

In 1991 he formed the Arrows who were set up following the successes of the Abbeydale Grange School Basketball team which won the U14 National Championships.

Under his leadership over two decades, the Arrows have shown a commitment to developing and nurturing young players which Peter is incredibly proud of.

He said: “For me the best thing is seeing children coming to our sessions whose Dad’s once came as kids to train.

“It’s the second generation coming through and It’s so pleasing that these parents put their trust in us after their good experiences when they were children.

Peter busy coaching

Peter busy coaching

The Arrows basketball club is certainly a family affair with wife Melanie aged 53, children Philippa 30, James 27, Jonathan 25 and Megan 17.

Peter said: “This award is not just deserving of me but for my family and the volunteers who help run this fantastic club

His commitments to sports coaching in the community were also recognised In 2000, when he was named Derbyshire Sports Coach of the Year.

The Arrows club, which started from humble beginnings now develops not only players but referees, table officials and coaches catering for children as young as five and over 18’s.

Peter busy coaching

Peter busy coaching

Despite being made redundant when Abbeydale Grange School was closed, he still managed to run the club on a voluntary basis.

He said: “It was a dark period in my life when the school closed down.

“I was pretty much promised that I’d be moved somewhere else but it didn’t end up like that.

“The club gave me a real sense of purpose in life and with it being our 25th anniversary it’s been a real long lasting positive experience.”

Peter’s wife Melanie also was made redundant from HSBC in 2010 and it became increasingly difficult to fully focus on the club.

“It was a hard time because with a job I help fund the club.” Peter said.

“My wife lost her job near the same time as me and it was difficult because we had a combined income and then we had next to nothing.

“You have other things on your mind but people at club and those who supported us got us through and I’m very grateful.”

Peter now works at Fir Vale secondary School in Sheffield.

The Arrows first team currently play in the English Basketball League Division 2.