Ken Kelly

After graduating, Ken worked as a teacher and lecturer in Mathematics in the UK and Malaysia. Whilst working in Kuala Lumpur he was appointed as a National Athletics Coach for the MAAU Centres of Excellence Programme. Widely travelled across five continents, he found time and travelled extensively throughout SE Asia and India. He came back to the UK overland through Hong Kong, China and Russia on the trans-Siberian Express – and arrived in Berlin the day the wall came down (not his fault!). 

Returning to the UK, Ken swapped teaching for High Performance Sport working for a number of the UK’s leading sports bodies including UK Athletics and the ECB. On the GB staff at four Paralympic Games and head athletics coach in Sydney and Athens, in 1992 he was awarded an Olympic Coach Scholarship.

For 15 years, as a counter-point to his professional work, Ken has studied the US and Soviet space programmes extensively from Mercury to the Space Shuttle, Vostok to Soyuz. Having visited Mission Control Centre in Houston and corresponded with astronauts from that period, he is now working on a book to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first landing. 

Favouring a multi-media style, Ken is an experienced, innovative and engaging presenter having spoken extensively at UK conferences and overseas. 

Ken is now an advisor/consultant to a number of national organisations. He keeps a rowing machine in the garage – but is mindful to avoid overtraining!

An experienced High Performance Manager &

Experienced, innovative and engaging presenter

Cruise talks

South East Asia – History, Cultures & Customs

Based largely on personal experiences, this sample of six inter-changeable presentations form part of a series

that takes you on a trip through some of the world’s most striking destinations and cover the full spectrum of experiences that will excite the senses:

1 SINGAPORE, Raffles Hotel and the Tiger Economy 
2 MALAYSIA, stunning wildlife to afternoon tea 
3 THAILAND, from floating markets to beautiful islands. 
4 CAMBODIA, the magnificence and the tragedy
5 VIETNAM, the phoenix risen from the ashes 
6 HONG KONG, from the ‘chaos’ of downtown to the stunning views from Victoria Peak

The Olympics Games (1896 – 2016) – A Modern Day Anachronism?

1. (1896 – 1936) Key events in the development of the Olympic Games
2. (1948 – 1972) The emergence of the Eastern Bloc as a sporting powerhouse
3. (1972 – 2016) International Olympic Committee - money and politics

Reborn in 1896, this series of three lectures examine how the Olympic Games movement grew in the early part of the 20th century and explores in detail if the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger)

and the Olympic ideal of fair play are still relevant today.

US Manned Space Programme (1958 – 1972) – Mercury to Apollo

Never before considered against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, these talks chart the remarkable and unsurpassed achievement of the US manned space programme. With the 50th anniversary, in 2019 of the first landing on the moon, they combine the well-known scientific accomplishments of the programme with the lesser-known human back stories, which together made the space programme the success it became. 

1. Mercury (1958 – 1963) Living and working in space
2. Gemini (1961 – 1966) Getting ready for the moon
3. Apollo (1961 – 1972) One small step … One giant leap 

US Space Shuttle Programme (1971 – 2011) – From Triumph to Disaster 

1. (1971 – 1986) Taking the Bus to work
2. (1986 – 2003) Getting back up again
3. (2003 – 2011) The curtain finally comes down

These three lectures trace the development, to date, of the only reusable spacecraft! It also explores how, after the Challenger disaster of 1986, the programme got back on its feet again – only to suffer a second and equally spectacular set back. Finally, the lectures conclude by examining what finally led to the Space Shuttle Programme being cancelled in 2011.

Soviet Manned Space Programme (1961 - 2017) - Where Did it All Go Wrong? 

With so many stellar ‘firsts’ in the early years of the space race, how is it that the Soviet Union eventually lost out on the ultimate prize. Was the Soviet Union even serious about landing on the moon to show everyone that the 20th century belonged to Communism? These talks trace the development of the space programme from Sputnik right through to the present day and explore the reasons for the change in emphasis over the years.

1 (1961 – 1978) It All Started so Well! 
2 (1978 – 1988) Strengthening Communist Ties Around the World
3 (1990 – 2017) The Iron Curtain, Capitalism and Hard Currency