DESCRIBED as the heartbeat of Somerton ABC, Mark James goes the extra mile when it comes to coaching in his community.

And tonight could see him pick up a special accolade at the Wales Sport Awards, which this year are hosted by the Celtic Manor.

The past 12 months have seen the club’s membership increase dramatically thanks to the Community Coach of the Year nominee’s tireless work.

James gives up 15 hours a week to provide opportunities for tots, young people and the elderly to access boxing – for fitness or competing.

He holds four weekly sessions, including on Sunday afternoons, and even more time attending fights and sporting festivals.

He does all this alongside a full-time job as a mechanical sprayer and supporting his large family.

“I do it to see them growing as boxers, enjoying it and even winning competitions,” he said.

“It’s important that kids have something to do in the neighbourhood.”

Based in the Communities First area of Somerton, the multi-use facility is transformed into a boxing venue for each training session.

James arrives early to hang up boxing bags and erect the portable ring ready for the members.

Leigh Williams, sport development officer at Newport Live, said: “He provides opportunities for the hardest to reach individuals through boxing and acts as a father figure for them.

“Mark has influenced many individuals from potentially going down the wrong path by using boxing as the tool to educate and focus them and provide an outlet for many individuals.”

For James, it is more than just sport, it’s a passion.

And his advice for anyone thinking of coaching?

He said: “Definitely go and do it – you get a lot out of it!”