Karen Kelly wins Coach of the Year

Top award...for Karen Kelly (centre)
Top award...for Karen Kelly (centre)

A LANARK woman who coaches swimming six days a week landed a richly deserved Coach of the Year prize at the South Lanarkshire Council Sports Awards ceremony in Hamilton Town House.

Lanark Swimming Club’s Karen Kelly (51) devotes 11 hours a week to coaching youngsters despite working full-time at the local Clydesdale Bank branch. And her efforts were rewarded last Tuesday, when she received her trophy from Depute Provost Pam Clearie.

“Winning is a real honour for me,” Karen said. “But coaches are judged on results and it is a team effort because the kids do very well.

“Me winning was down to the application they put in rather than anything I did.

“The hours I put in for the club (Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings and Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights) can be challenging. But the good results make it worthwhile.”

Karen has been involved with Lanark Swimming Club since 1973 and has coached there since she was 15.

Her sterling efforts in coaching Euan McComish to four titles at the Scottish Age Group Championships in Aberdeen was key to her landing Top Coach.

“I’m a proud Lanarkian,” she added. “We are a provincial club. So I really like to offer kids a platform to compete against some of the bigger clubs at a higher level.”