While he was a fine runner during his athletic career, Graham Kelly made his most important mark within Athletics as a builder. In fact, it was his leadership during the late 1950’s and 1960’s that was the major factor in the survival of the sport during a period of time when it faced serious problems.
His best running performance came in 1933 when he placed fifth in the Tely Ten and his determination and love of the event and his determination to have it continued was extremely valuable to it in the late 1950’s. He was a great supporter of the race and marked the 50th anniversary of the event in 1972 by entering it with every member of his adult family.
Willing to devote countless hours to meets and races, he displayed an exceptional organizational ability that was crucial to track and field. Very co-operative, owner of impressive expertise and willing to make sacrifices, it was his leadership that resulted in a solid foundation being established for the growth and expansion of Athletics.
He was the founder of the St. John’s Track and Field Club and served as its president for more than 25 years. This organization produced some of the finest runners and field event experts of its time and he contributed even more by serving as provincial track and field president.
On a yearly basis, he coached a wide range of track and field athletes with great success and he headed the coaching staff for the Newfoundland and Labrador team that competed in the first Canada Summer Games in Halifax in 1969.
Athletics, called track and field in his era, is much better because of the important and valuable contributions of Graham Kelly during a period that lasted nearly 50 years.
Copyright © NLAA 2021