I have known Richard Kelly since the early 1990’s and watched him grow from a young boy into the impressive man he is today. Richard attended Maritzburg College, (one of South Africa’s finest Government schools), at which I was employed as a Head of Department and First XV Rugby Union Coach. From an early age Richard showed outstanding leadership qualities that were recognised by his peers and coaches, and he was placed in many leadership roles in his time at the school.
It was as Captain of the Maritzburg College First XV that I got to know him really well.
Richard always led from the front, both on and off the sports field, and that trait alone is often enough to stand out amongst boys. Richard, however, had much more to offer. Although fiercely competitive, he had a kind and compassionate nature that made him immensely popular with all the boys in the school. He always had time, and a kind word of encouragement, for the new boys and those having a difficult time.
He was at his absolute best though when the chips were down and the pressure was on him and his team to perform. Richard was famous for his team talks, where he was known to recite poems or parts of speeches to fire up his team. This was always performed with such clear passion, belief and energy that his players would have followed him anywhere.
I have spent my professional life teaching, mentoring and coaching boys and young men, and I cannot think of anyone I could recommend more for any type of leadership or mentorship role than Richard.
– Colin Heard, Sharks Rugby, South Africa
Our School and Year 7 Boys fraternity recently had the privilege and pleasure of being a captive audience for Richard Kelly, who has founded the “Invicta Youth Programme to promote “A Youth life coaching platform to motivate & inspire our youth to be the best they can be!”
Young teens, particularly boys, have many challenges, dreams and milestones to celebrate but don’t necessarily have the tools or confidence to articulate their aspirations and the journey they will undertake. The value of mentors and role models is vital in stimulating and promoting a sense of positive identity for boys as they navigate their path in life. I was drawn to what Richard had to offer and the powerful message that underlined his vision and invited him to speak to the Year Level at an assembly. On making contact, I found Richard affable, professional and passionate about his life mission and eagerly anticipated the positive message he would convey to his audience.
Richard delivered a powerful, entertaining and informative address. He struck up a strong rapport with this group from the outset and his interactive commentary was supplemented with the visual appeal of a media presentation that reinforced key themes he delivered. His address was notable for its empathy and passion but the key ingredient in proceedings was the high level of engagement and recognition for what was being said that resonated with the student audience and me.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Richard as a man of integrity and vision to nurture and inspire any valid youth programme aspiring to maximise the vast potential of the individual. We need people of this quality in front of our children to promote such a message.
– Brent Timm’s, Matthew Flinders School, Australia
This letter serves to certify that I, Charles Louw, currently Rugby Director and Head Coach at Ryutsu Keizai University (former High Performance Manager, U21 and Vodacom Coach at the Sharks Rugby Union), have known Richard Kelly for a period of 18 years in the capacity of rugby coach and friend.
Firstly, I had the pleasure not only to coach him, but also to have him as my captain of the Sharks U21 team. During this period, through much interaction, I got to know him personally. I have to say, that he is one of the finest leaders of men I have ever seen. His ability, not only to lead, but also to motivate his teammates, made him without a doubt one of the most inspirational captains I have ever had the pleasure to coach. He is an exceptional leader and is constantly thinking three steps ahead, always working to understand the environment he is in, with the goal of avoiding problems before they arise.
Richard distinguished himself consistently, not only through on field rugby performances, but also through his off field management skills. He showed excellent initiative skills as an age group leader (well beyond his years) and was instrumental in the planning and implementing of new ideas, programs, and team policies.
Not only is he highly intelligent, well-educated and has enthusiasm that is contagious, but he is also an articulate communicator. As a leader, he listened a lot and was willing to work to understand the needs and desires of others. He asked many questions and considered all options, before making decisions that led everyone in the right direction. He always brought out the best in his teammates.
Secondly as a friend, it was a pleasure to see him develop into a fine man. He has a very humble character, treating others with compassion and earning their respect. He has a quiet confidence about himself and is passionate about things, always giving his best in all his endeavors. It is my opinion that he would be an extremely positive asset to your program
– Charles Louw, Rugby Director and Head Coach at Ryutsu Keizai University (former High Performance Manager, U21 and Vodacom Coach at the Sharks Rugby Union).