A MAN who has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to coaching young swimmers has been nominated for a prize in the South Wales Argus Sports Awards.

Cwmbran Otters Swimming Club head coach Gerald Sims is in the running to scoop this year’s Volunteer of the Year gong.

If he is selected as a finalist when nominations close on Friday, March 22 and goes on to be named the winner then it will complete a special double for the hard- working Sims.

Last year he won the same accolade in the South Wales Argus Pride of Gwent awards.

Sims coaches five days a week and gives up his time at weekends when his students take part in competitions across the country.

A keen swimmer himself, he joined the Otters in 1986, 12 years after the club was formed, and has since gone on to help generations of young people become accomplished swimmers.

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He has also had to overcome major health problems following a prostate cancer diagnosis in December 2007.

Thankfully, after surgery and radiotherapy treatment, the father-of-four received the all clear.

“Gerald coaches every evening and spends all day at galas and open meetings on weekends,” said daughter Shelly Sims, who made the nomination.

“He works in the house on paperwork, posts about the club on social media and is also the treasurer of the club.

“He is so committed to every person in the club.”

The volunteer of the year award at the inaugural sports awards last March went to Graham Jones, the Pontypool United RFC kit man who has worked tirelessly for the club over the past two decades.

This year’s ceremony is at Chepstow Racecourse on Wednesday, May 22.

Nominations for the South Wales Argus Sports Awards can be made by visiting www.southwalesargus.co.uk/sportsawards